Advertising should start even before you open your doors and most people wait until AFTER they start bringing in clients.
The business of massage class I took in school was one of my least favorites, and I vowed to never do two things in my future career: Teach massage and at no time run my own business. Because I slept through the class, I had no idea what to do once I wasn’t making enough money working for others. Luckily, one of my classmates wanted to start her own business in this small town of 3,000 people, and she asked me to be a partner in it. I was scared to death, but I really had no other options, and I decided to join her in the late 90s. I was so fortunate that my business partner owned a small salon for 20 years and she had the business knowledge…I learned tons from her!
We needed upfront money to buy some supplies for our business, and I was dirt poor and my business partner had saved up enough money to get us started. I paid her back in three months, and I had a part-time job working in a nursing home at the time, so I still had income coming in.
Now to back it up a little and explain what this blog is about. We decided to run an ad in the local newspaper for three different gift certificates people could win. First was a 2-one-hour massages, second was a 1-one-hour massage and third was 1-1/2 massage. We also asked three local businesses with a lot of traffic to put a box in their entryway to sign-up for a chance to win. When we asked the businesses to put the boxes in their entryway, we gave them each a free ½ hour gift certificate. On the pieces of paper, we had them fill-out their name, address, phone number, and if they wanted more information about our business. After two weeks of having the boxes in the businesses, we had 150+ names to start our mailing lists, and we had two weeks before we opened our doors to the public. We put a coupon for 20% off their first visit (we color coated them, so we would know how many people redeemed them), information about who we are, what different styles we offer, and we put in there what to expect in their initial massage.
We received 25 redeemed coupons in the first month of opening our business, and we capitalized on that, by giving a 10% off coupon their next visit. As you can see, it pays to advertise your business before you even open your doors, and it will help you refrain from twiddling your digits after you open your doors