When you need business, and you need it bad…consider the good old door hanger!
Starting up a new business is hard, 50% fail in the first three years! And it always boils down to one problem…SALES. There is an old saying that “Sales fix a lot of problems” and it’s true. Too many people with good skills in a trade, service or retail think to take those skills and start their own business, however, they have to master the art of marketing to get people in the door! Many start-ups will spend most of their capital on the new building, equipment, supplies, inventory and fail to leave sufficient for marketing. Money is tight and creates a catch 22, they need to market to get sales and they need sales to be able to afford to market.
Enter the door-hanger. I was with one of my sales people at a start up pizza shop, the place looked and smelled great! But it was lunchtime and the place was completely empty. His manager was standing behind the counter playing with his smartphone. We were discussing a direct mail campaign that the owner said he just couldn’t afford. I looked at him and said “you have got to do something right away or you are not going to be in business in another month!”
I told him that the best think I could recommend was to get some nice, full color door hangers with a great offer on them like “Get a large 1-topping pizza for $5.00) That was close to his food cost, but I explained. “You need to get the word out” when you are slow your ingredients are going bad anyway. You and your manager need to get out into the neighborhoods around you and put out the door hangers! Get people aware that you are here, give them a great experience and they will be back! Then when you are too busy to pass out door hangers because you have customers, you can spend the money on direct mail and let the post office do your shoe-work for you.
Many businesses continue to use door hangers, especially home service businesses. I know plumbers, electricians and pool people that have their technicians put a door hanger on the house to the left and right of the one that they are servicing. They let the resident know that they have just helped their neighbor and can they them with something?
With all of the new social media, mail, electronics and more, sometimes the old ways still work best. You want customers? Go find them!