A. Here are three ideas I have tried that have worked for my retail business:
Sampling ~ restaurants do it all the time. Give your product away to get customers. Be sure you are targeting an audience that would buy from you in the first place. While giving away may cost in the short run, in the long run it can lead to small business profitability in loyalty, word of mouth and new sales.
Create a preferred customer event and showcase your products. A local gift basket company has a gift basket open house each year and showcases her latest lines to prospects and clients. She invites local chambers of commerce members, as well as members of other professional groups to which she belongs. She has a thriving business and only works around the peak holidays. She makes enough to take off 5 months out of the year. Preferred customer events can lead to small business profitability as they work in your offline marketing efforts.
Try classified ads – they are cheaper than graphic ads and can in-fact generate more traffic. People are looking for opportunities in classified ad now more than ever. eBay Classifieds and Craigslists are good examples of how successful classified advertising can be for large and small business marketing.. If you have what someone needs your phone will ring. In fact, I have a list of classified ad media on WE Magazine for Women website. It is listed under the 100 resources category. You an grab a copy here: Getting Classified: 100+ Places to Promote Your Business (including the classifieds in WE Magazine).
Be sure and read:
5 Tips to Get the most from Online Classifieds – http://wecai.org/8820/5-tips-to-get-the-most-from-online-classifieds
Mail Order Selling – Six Tips for Success http://marketingsmallbizoffline.com/mail-order-selling-six-tips-for-success/