Old school is still the best school when it comes to cost-effectively promoting a small business today.
According to Chris Mahlmann, CEO of Ideas in Motion Media, connecting and engaging with customers is key to advertising yourself and your company. “Being in small business really means being in the business of the simplest forms of communication,” he asserts.
Mahlmann cautions entrepreneurs to avoid feeling as if they have to spend large sums of money to attract and retain customers. “As a small-business owner, the greatest investment you can make is your time, not your money,” he says.
He dismisses the idea that small businesses should employ the same large-scale, automated, and mostly impersonal advertising techniques employed by much larger companies. Every email, phone call, and handshake with one person is as important — and potentially as effective — as a newspaper ad or a billboard display meant to reach thousands. “The humblest ways are still the best ways,” Mahlmann says.
In a recent interview with the Intuit Small Business Blog, Mahlmann shared what he considers to be the five most cost-effective ways to promote a small business.