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TomBecker
29-05-2006, 11:33 AM
My other thread has been closed (an rightly so, it's was getting pretty vicious in there!) so I just want to start a new one concentrating on Martin's (regular) stressing of how important local advertising would be to me and Michael. As I've already mentioned, spending s on an ad campaign isn't an option for us. We could afford to have leaflets printed and we cand drop them oursleves. We could phone around too. Are these the best options? Or would you recommend something else. I just want to know what local businesses are most likely to pay attention to, how to make them give us a chance (i.e. basic tips on leaflet design would be great) and how we can get the most for our money regarding response to adverts. Thanks for any help.

big_phoenix
29-05-2006, 12:29 PM
Welcome to the nice side!

I do like the new site, if you do go down the website route I really would find 30 or so and get a real host with no ads.

The only change I would make now is to stress what you actually do when people land on the site.

"We offer an extensive range of service to local businesses" leaves me thinking do you answer the phones? do you collect my rubbish or clean my windows?

Be specific, don't hid what your business does and don't make it sound that you do more than you actually do.

So now we have this done, we can use the key points from your site on to a flyer. Leafleting homes can be more hit and miss, in every 100 homes, you are likely to find 50 of them don't have a computer, 25 buy new ones with no interest in upgrading and with the other 25 you might get a 1% response (as is often the case with direct mail).

However if you have something printed and walk in to independent shops and offices etc using your age and fact that you WANT to work and do something you should find some interest. The flyer helps to back up your case and gives them something to remember you.

Just make sure the flyer focuses on the one or 2 things you are trying to say and achieve.

TheJoshM
29-05-2006, 01:39 PM
ok...

Might be an idea to skip the "consumer" market completely at the beginning. To do 100 computers you'd probably need to visit 100 homes, which would take ages. Whereas you could probably collect 100 computers from one business, which wouldn't take too long. Also means you've only got to deal with one invoice at the end.

With that in mind what is the best way of attracting the attention of businesses? Is it going to be a flyer, which looks like it's been given to hundreds or thousands of people or a letter addressed directly to the person in charge of the IT department? People like to think that they've been "chosen" rather than just mixed in with everyone else. It's also a lot easier to follow up on a letter (especially if it's delivered to someone specific) rather than a flyer.

That said the contents of the material (whether it be a flyer or a letter) will still be similar. Not identical, but similar. It should break down into:

Attention
Interest
Desire
Action

So Attention would be the first line, perhaps something like "did you know that on (date) you're required by law to dispose of your computers correctly" something like that.

Interest, "CambsICT can help, we're specialists in the removal and recycling of your old PCs etc etc"

Desire, ok that's kinda hard for this subject, perhaps you could use the fact it will help there PR because you're giving them to african children or something. It has to be something that makes them want it.

Action, it could be a special offer, or something free. Basically something that encourages them to do something. It could be "Call us now and we'll give you a free consulatation" etc

Anyway there's a few ideas for you.

Of course if you did want to go with the leaflets 1000 130gsm A5 Double Sided are 114 ;)

Josh

TomBecker
29-05-2006, 08:30 PM
That's given us something to think about. Thanks for your suggestions, more are still welcome. I like the letter idea, I think it's true about making it look like they've been "chosen". If there's anyone here that would be happy to read a draught when it's done and say what's good and bad, it would be very much appreciated. Hopefully we'll have that done soon. With the donating to charities etc., how does that work? I don't want to say we do it if we're not going to, but would we get money for that (sounds awful, asking if I benefit financially from helping a charity) or should we do that for free for the first few times just to get a good image. It's probably going to be a short project unless it goes amazingly well, so I'd be more interested in making as much from as possible and as quickly as possible. I was thinking ebay maybe or schools and playgroups etc. Thanks again for the help, the letter structure is particularly useful.

MichaelH
30-05-2006, 05:53 PM
This is primarily aimed at those who have previously read about our idea.
I have recently spoken to Tom about plans for CambsICT and we realise that neither of us have much of an idea how much it would cost to set up. If we use the advice given by the members of the forum as we sut up a business, what kind of costs can we expect? (costs in addition to web hosting and making letters which we have already thought about)

Of course bearing in mind this will only be a part time business and we are students without tons of cash to spend :)

TheJoshM
30-05-2006, 06:05 PM
How much does it cost to set up a business?
How long is a piece of rope?

It really depends on what you need. From the sounds of it you'd require very little to set-up initially.

MichaelH
30-05-2006, 06:34 PM
That was a rather ambiguous question, although its good to have some idea. I guess putting in a bit more would mean maybe more interest so more income initially. But since it will only be a part time venture we can build slowly. I think we will mainly need to spend money on advertising.

Can anyone give some ideas of costs they came across when starting their business? Maybe some people have had unexpected expenses?

Thanks