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Small Businesses Marketing In Atlanta

Q:I am launching a small business eMarketing firm in Atlanta http://www.ActiveImprovement.com and will appreciate any ideas reaching small businesses in the local area.

A:I bought a machine shop in Denver back in 1967 and had to find work right away to pay the interest, capital, payroll, taxes and all expenses. I worked up a postcard and had it printed. Then sent it out to all manufacturers in Denver. It promised them emergency overnight service on any critical time-based machine operation for free as long as they gave me the card. I suggested they hold onto the card until needed. Over the next few months I got enough new business that I managed to bring the business into profitability. People are scared silly of their computer systems crashing. Few have reliable help. You've heard it said that the lucky people on this planet have a good dentist, mechanic and handy-man. In today's environment I'd add computer handi-person for business related stuff. Go to your local Small Business Development Center (not SBA nor SCORE) and sign up as a client. Then ask for a database dump of all businesses with more than 2 emplyees and less than 10. Send them a card offering instant response to any ebusiness problem (computer) as a means to introduce your fantastic service to them. 1) It is true that there are droves of small outfits in Atlanta that could potentially benefit from your service, However, there are also lots of consulting firms offering some form of retention services as part of larger customer care or marketing service packages. The Keyword: SEGMENT and niche market to a specialized target for starters. Expand from there. Example: "I specialize in doubling Client retention for health clubs - that translates into 200 -300% net gains over a 3 year span". (Name your niche). 2) It's been said that Atlanta is the largest SMALL TOWN you ever want to visit. A lot of owners in the Atlanta area are from the southeast (NC, SC, TN, AL, Upper FL). If you are also, that translates into an advantage and if not a bit of a competitive disadvantage. You, friend, are in the "Bible Belt" dealing with a southerners business perspective, in probably 50% of the cases or better. (Not saying it is somehow better or lessor, just transferring some knowledge). The Keyword here is: (inter)PERSONAL Contact. Try to engineer personal contact into your sales cycle if at all possible. They will want to see what you "look and act like". Example: "I would be happy to SWING BY on my way to supper, and let's see if i can't give you some marketing ideas over a good seafood platter". (And no, I'm not kidding). 3) Consider Using two or three a) Barter Services and b) Marketing services. Have the barter services "introduce" you to their members. Since your service is general, you should get some interest. The services will also have a few big names involved with them. Closing these guys allows you to add the big regional names to your client list (if you can broker barter deals with them), and further add to your credibility. Barter IS CASH after you convert it out to a liquefiable commodity, or use it to reduce your operating or living costs. (Most people don't realize that a dollar saved is equal to TWO DOLLARS EARNED). Have the marketing services (who are target marketers) broker you out as an enhanced service to their clientele and take a slice off the top. Put together a package just for them. 4) Lock down the areas within a 5 mile radius of a Superwalmart store... and target the services the "big box" is displacing. Surely those guys have "got to" be losing a little sleep. Create a 'consumer advocacy' scripted retention program focused on QUALITY. Example: "Mr Mechanic, there are somethings cheapness just can't buy, like better service. I feel YOUR customers need to know this before they go chasing rainbows down the street here shortly", etc. I'll tell you a true story. I went and had my oil changed at Walmart=99 once, because they were across from another appointment. Never again. These jokers never even changed the oil. Just wrote up a ticket and sent me back down the road! (YIKES).

Discuss It!
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Roma Pizzeria said:

I think Email marketing (instead of postcards :) is the best way to reach small businesses.

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Look for small businesses on the internet and then try to send them an email or a letter. Just let them know about the existence of your firm and how you could help them. How you could cooperate with them. Good luck!

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