Advise for marketing my new business
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    Registered User tkn4lif's Avatar
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    Unhappy Advise for marketing my new business

    I recently started a consignment/resale boutique for infant and toddler items and I am having a hard time coming up with good marketing ideas on a BUDGET! I don't want to spend alot of money on advertising at this time. Please help!

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    Registered User The Muse's Avatar
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    What are your objectives? Are you trying to make people aware of your store, get them into your store, get them to consign with you, get them to buy? The first step is to figure out what you're trying to do.

    I do marketing strategy for a living.

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    Registered User Momto2Boyz's Avatar
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    You'd be surprised what a few cheap flyers can do! I owned a resale furniture store for awhile, so I know how to advertise cheaply!

    Here are some ideas:
    1. Flyers wherever you can put them up, lots of places have free community boards! Check with places that families go like Park Districts, YMCA's, etc. Get creative and carry a folder with flyers at all times, so you have one handy if you see a bulletin board!

    2. Business cards at counters of other stores (check with local hair cut places that specialize in kids, pediatricians, etc. offer to set up an area in your store for their cards, and trade).

    3. Share your knowlege! Are you just doing clothing or furniture too? Have a seminar, you don't have to be an expert, just knowledgable! Set aside a Saturday morning each month to do a different seminar. Things like classes for new mom's to let them know what they really need and what they don't, or "decorating a room for a toddler or baby the resale way!" Or even a safety class on consignment buying, give them resources on how to pick out cribs, where to look for baby recalls, and child seat safety (I'm sure you could find a local law enforcement offical to come in and help you with this for free). Or what about a mom/child craft day, you could have crafts on hand for the season, or whatever, and parents could come in and do a free craft with the kids (more than likely, you'll sell at least as much as you spend on the craft supplies)

    I used to do this in my store. For the cost of 2 dozen donuts and coffee, I could usually get at least 20 people in my store for about 90 minutes (I usually advertised these events in the free section of paper called the town crier...as long as I wasn't charging for the seminar, they allowed me to post it for free). I would do decorating seminars (always featuring second hand shopping items) for different decorating themes, ie. shabby chic, country, etc. I even did one of furntiure refinishing. I am by no means an expert, but I was sharing what I had learned in my life with people, and they loved it, espcially becuase it was free. Those Saturdays were always my best sales days for each month, becuase after the seminar, people would stay, browse and buy!

    4. If you have window displays, use them to your advantage! The more creative you get with windows, the more likely that people will stop and check you out! You can also make a cheap and easy A-frame sign with 2 pieces of plywood, a piece of chain and 2 hinges. I used this, painted it to match my store front, then just staple-gunned poster board onto it with whatever info we had going on, sales, etc.

    5. Get listed in the phonebook! Most phone books, will try to nickle and dime you, but if you simply tell them it is too expensive, many will give you a bold listing your first year in business for free! I was being completely honest with one guy, we couldn't afford a huge listing and so he did what he could for me in the hopes that I would be able to spend more on my ad the next year!

    6. Make sure you have a kids area for playing! This is super great for parents anywhere, but especially in a store that specializes in kids!

    7. Think about places that specialize in kids, and ask if they'll hand out coupons for you. You can print the coupons yourself and they can be for as little as 10% off a purchase of x amount or more. Think about places kids go, hair cutting places, dentists, etc.

    Just get creative with what resources you have! See if you can't work out a deal with a balloon company in town and have free balloon day. If they provide the balloons, shoot for free, but at least discounted, you'll give them as much free advertisement as you can! Make friends with other businesses, I found that business owners always like to help each other out and they can be some of your best resources, too! See if your area has a merchant's coffee or chamber of commerce (but before joining, talk to other local businesses and see if it worth the money to join, some are great while others are horrible).

    Just get as creative as you can! Ok, I think I am tapped out for now. I used to have a notebook where I kept all my marketing ideas for my business. Maybe I'll see if I still have it with the stuff that I saved, if so, I'll post some more!

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    Registered User tkn4lif's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Muse View Post
    What are your objectives? Are you trying to make people aware of your store, get them into your store, get them to consign with you, get them to buy? The first step is to figure out what you're trying to do.

    I do marketing strategy for a living.
    Well, I think all of those would be good! I would like to focus of all except the consigning right now. I have a lot of inventory and not a lot of buyers at this moment.

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    Registered User tkn4lif's Avatar
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    Thank you so much momto2boyz!!! You are so helpful!

    I only have one problem. I am located inside a flea market at this time. I rented the least expensive room size...a 10x10. Once I start making a decent profit I plan on renting a larger (10 x 20) space.

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    Registered User madhen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Momto2Boyz View Post
    Here are some ideas:
    1. Flyers wherever you can put them up, lots of places have free community boards! Check with places that families go like Park Districts, YMCA's, etc. Get creative and carry a folder with flyers at all times, so you have one handy if you see a bulletin board!
    The only thing I'd add to that is to carry a little box of thumbtacks with you, as well. When I had my on-line business up and running, I would leave business cards/flyers on bulletin boards at feed stores, and they NEVER had any thumbtacks that weren't already being used by someone else!! And make sure your flyers are eye-catching. A sheet of white paper with black type gets lost fast as other people tack stuff up over it. It might cost you a bit more in ink, but even just a thick black border or some graphic design will draw peoples' eyes, so it can still be b/w and photocopied easily. I found a local print shop that made up a TON of business cards for me, including a photo and purple ink. I would just tack those up, because people were more likely to grab one than stop to write down info off a flyer.
    DH aka Mad Hen
    (http://mad-hen-creations.blogspot.com/)

    Every time you spend money, you're casting a vote for the kind of world you want. Anna Lappe

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    Registered User Missy's Avatar
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    ROFL, my only idea was to "accidently " leave business cards on the counter in babies or Toys r us bathrooms, chuckie cheese bathrooms etc...

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    Registered User tkn4lif's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Missy View Post
    ROFL, my only idea was to "accidently " leave business cards on the counter in babies or Toys r us bathrooms, chuckie cheese bathrooms etc...
    LOL! Good one!!!

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