This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more hereX

Home > Discussion Forum

Discussion Forum

Laurence_A's Avatar Laurence_A Laurence_A is offline
Maven
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Sunny Wiltshire
Posts: 57
Marketing

Hi,

I'm new to this website and thought i'd get a few extra opinions/ideas.

A bit of background knowledge - I'm 17 years old, based in Wiltshire and have just started my own business. It's a catering equipment hire service and i've just been looking at my options in terms of marketing.

How has everyone else promoted their idea? Is it a case of contacting as many directories and possible future customers? Or are there any other ways?

Preferably cheap options as my current budget is low.

Many thanks

Laurence
Reply With Quote
TomTechITSupport's Avatar TomTechITSupport TomTechITSupport is offline
Connector
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 221
find your target market, research them, find out what makes them tick....find out what competetion are doing and then find out how you can beat that.....also im in IT and what i did when i started was find my target, looked at their website and found how i could make it better, then contacted them individually to offer them personalized packages. it worked for me
__________________
Small Business IT Support |
Gadgets and Tech Reviews |

T: 08443572722
Reply With Quote
ttam21's Avatar ttam21 ttam21 is offline
Maven
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Wiltshire
Posts: 55
Hi Laurence
Ive sent you a PM buddy
Reply With Quote
bill mccallum bill mccallum is offline
Connector
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Dorset
Posts: 472
Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence_A View Post
Hi,

I'm new to this website and thought i'd get a few extra opinions/ideas.

A bit of background knowledge - I'm 17 years old, based in Wiltshire and have just started my own business. It's a catering equipment hire service and i've just been looking at my options in terms of marketing.

How has everyone else promoted their idea? Is it a case of contacting as many directories and possible future customers? Or are there any other ways?

Preferably cheap options as my current budget is low.

Many thanks

Laurence
As usual, I'll ask the critical questions, if you are 17 and already started the business, have you completed any market research? Which would have been able to guide you to your potential customers and competitors. Armed with that information you could then look at a strategy that would engage your market segment.

The fact that you are asking the question on this forum indicates that you did'nt do any (or enough) market research. So your next step is to do some (or some more).

To try and answer your question here is almost impossible, much depends on what catering equipment you plan to hire, electrical, kitchen, party crockery, full service, marquee's, etc, etc.

What is your target market: contract caterers, general public, event planners, etc, etc

What is your budget? & Who are your suppliers? It may be that your suppliers will have catalogues which you can re-brand with your name, much cheaper than producing your own.

If you choose the general public as your target market (birthday, wedding, etc) then you will run out of your marketing budget in a week or two as the cost of blanket promotion can be huge.

If you are targeting contract caterers then you can find innovative ways of reaching them, simply by using a phone book (or web search) and call them (as a prospective customer) to find out where they will be working next and go along and see them (or get someone else to do it) at work (identify the type of equipment they are using, ask if its theirs or if hired), and identify their place in the market (are they low cost, mid-range or high end).

But for a more realistic response you need to provide more info.

Bill
__________________
mccallum_bill at hotmail.com

www.lymeregis.tv

Make A Free Website
Free Hosting. Free Design Tools
Easy To Use. Everything You Need
WebStarts.com
Reply With Quote
johnathanB johnathanB is offline
Maven
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence_A View Post
Hi,


How has everyone else promoted their idea? Is it a case of contacting as many directories and possible future customers? Or are there any other ways?

Preferably cheap options as my current budget is low.

Many thanks

Laurence

Hi Laurence

Conventional wisdom states that you should do extensive market research. Problem here is that market research is rarely accurate for example if you ask someone " would you like to buy xyz" they may well say "yes" but later down the line actually getting them to part with their hard earned cash is a different proposition. Personally I think the larger your "up-front" investment the more market research you should do. If you upfront costs are low, and at the age of 17 you have little to lose, thus the best market research you can do is what you are doing - getting out and selling your product. You will soon learn your price points, and strategies this way.
As for marketing there are lots of things that you can try. In your situation I'd put a suit on and go visit some customers. I'd also try to build some "partner" relationships with other businesses that have the same customers.

I have a blog and have previously produced a video that may help you called Small Business Marketing Basics http://www.growtheprofits.com/Free-V...ng-basics.aspx



Johnathan
__________________
---
I started my business from scratch and sold it 13 years later to a PLC.
I now mentor businesses and help them make more profits via my website which is full of free small business advice . This site reveals my strategies and shows you how to make more profits in your business.
---
Reply With Quote
Laurence_A's Avatar Laurence_A Laurence_A is offline
Maven
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Sunny Wiltshire
Posts: 57
Thanks for the replies, I seem to have exhausted my market research already and wondered if there were any ideas more outside the box. I seem to have found all the methods that my competition have tried, including direct contact with my potential consumers and getting my name in directories related to the industry.
Reply With Quote
SimonNeuroGames's Avatar SimonNeuroGames SimonNeuroGames is offline
Maven
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 56
An Idea

How about offering free hire for a charity such as a homeless shelter, a local paper/radio would love the story of "young entrepreneur gives back to the community".
If you can't find a charity in need you could even organise a charitable event yourself, collect food donations, arrange a top chef to teach disadvantaged teenagers or Duke of Edinburgh Award students to cook in the day and give the food out to the homeless in the evening. Great PR, nice thing to do and very cheap.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
marketing, promotions

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 05:48 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd. Copyright Shell LiveWIRE 2005-2009