How do I build my business in a small "It's who you know" town, when you are new?
My business is an in-home pilates studio, in horse country, close to the vest farming neighborhood. I have tried to break in with the neighbors, advertise, teach public classes, offered intros & good will sessions to the neighbors. The local Chamber of Commerce left me off the e-mail list repeatedly... no matter how gently I reminded them.
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I would try to get in with a local senior center, church or even a hospital. You may have to do some free classes to get started but I think once you get the hook in them and they start enjoying it then they will start signing up on their own.
Outside of WRITE A MARKETING PLAN with someone who knows how. Getting horse country attention is easy. Offer something they want to learn about, which promotes their interests and your business at the same time. Call if your open minded to learn more.
It is not easy. I am going to offer ideas that my Colleagues may have offered, so forgive me if I don't suggest anything new. You are doing the right things in general. I would start a simple Blog that talked about who you are and why you deserve their attention. Keep it high level. I would build an Email List from anyone you can start with. Why should you get their attention? What do you that is different than what other people do in the are? Focus on the Uniqueness of what you offer. Get someone to acknowledge that what you do is different and unique from others offerings. You don't need use names, but I would get Quotes from people that describe your services as being good and unique
Hello Julia, I see your challenge and why you ask the questions how?, first thing ask yourself is there a need for your service or product in the small town and will it be enough to sustain your efforts, Is there any other competition in the area with the similar business? the best approach is test the water, It would not even hurt to ask some potential prospects that you would target, would they be interested in my services or product, best ideas are from potential customers, this is not a expensive approach it will keep you from losing sleep and spinning your wheels. and give you some directions. for sure.
Small towns are about relationships. Try to start volunteering in some community service or faith based charity. Once engaged people will get to know you. They want to know you before they do business with you. I am convinced in one of those engagements you will find someone to connect with.
Finally, examine your offerings. Are you providing a solution, need that the community wants or needs. That can go along way in helping you get established.
Richard Stern-Be proactive "network" be part of the community.
Join the Chamber of Commerce, make presentations to as many groups as possible.
Keep track as to what works and what does not work
Contact the local paper and get an editorial about you and your business.
Be sure your Website is great and write editorials that are pertinentt to your customer base.t
The communication theory and practice of AIDA is much like networking. It starts with one step on a journey, and you're selling a product or a service with the nine (9) P's of Marketing.
The communication begins with Awareness>Interest>Desire>Action (AIDA). If they don't know who you are, you need to get out there. You just need to get out there and meet people.
Join clubs, associations, church. Have coffee dates. It starts with generating and building "Awareness."
What a concept.
Here to help.
Think about your top possible market sectors and what benefits you can offer them Have a look at my Theaker's Rule of Three for some ideas. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WOGr6dEW8Y
Hi Julia, you've had some excellent suggestion so far.
Being a chiro myself, I would suggest you visit any musculoskeletal practices around your area/ town. If you guys gel, then maybe start a pilates class or 2 each week working from their practice, for their patients. If this works out then start your own Saturday class from the local school hall. Have fun with it.