The Woodworkers Guide to Marketing on a Small Budget

Many woodworkers who decide to branch out and start their own business struggle with marketing their business and simply do not have the resources to market their products using mass media such as television, radio and newspapers. Most woodworkers also do not have the marketing skill set to make an impact on the market and gain visibility.

Defining the target market

Marketing a small business does not require a large budget, but a carefully thought out strategy. The first step in the marketing process is to determine who the target market is for the products. The more specific the niche the more effective is the marketing strategy. For instance a furniture business could decide to target customers interested in furniture that has an antique look, rather than manufacture furniture that is similar to what most contemporary furniture makers offer the market.

There are several tactics that can be used to promote furniture or other woodworking products on a budget, without the need to spend a fortune on mass media advertising.

Building rapport and rewarding loyalty

One of the increasingly effective ways of gaining new customers is to make a free offering and gain their trust. While the very thought of giving away something may strike alarm bells about the cost of a gift, the investment is worthwhile. Several marketers have used this tactic with phenomenal success. The gift does not have to be expensive, but should have a perceived value for the recipient. For instance a furniture manufacturer can offer a free video showing the exact steps for polishing antique furniture without ruining the finish. This will be of great value to a prospect who buys period furniture.

Another tactic is to offer customers a priority discount offer. For instance before having a general sale, a furniture manufacturer can send out an email offering or a direct mailer to previous and current customers inviting them to a preview of the sale a few days before it is made open to the public.

Response based Direct Marketing

Many woodworkers are under the mistaken impression that they need to advertise their products in newspapers and magazines. Nothing could be further from the truth. While brand advertising works for large organisations, with well known brands, direct marketing is a far better option for woodworkers and furniture makers starting out in business. While crafting a direct mail offer, the product benefits should be clearly spelt out, and the offer should be enticing enough for the prospect to take action. The advantage of this tactic is that the results are measurable and it costs a lot less than advertising in newspapers.

Participating in community events and trade shows

Holding events and participating in trade shows are two popular ways for getting visibility and exposure to businesses that lack the awareness in the market. Events such as fundraisers for a local community provide an opportunity to get in touch with local customers and businesses and also be seen as a business that is supportive of the local community. The goodwill generated goes a long way in promoting the business. This also provides an excellent opportunity to get free media coverage.

Contests and rewards

Given the immense popularity of game shows, a sales promotion contest can result in drawing attention to a business and getting free advertising through local media coverage. The contest should have an element of fun to generate a high level of interest.

Rewarding customers is a simple, yet effective way of converting them to loyal long term patrons of a business. Rewards can be offered in many forms, from discounts on future purchases, to free gifts, shopping vouchers or even theatre tickets. The greater the perceived value to the customer, the more likely they will be to take up the offer.

Woodworkers and furniture manufacturers can use their ingenuity to promote their business in a number of ways. Sometimes the best ideas can be borrowed from completely unrelated industries. This is why it is important to keep one’s eyes and ears open to the various tactics that are being used, as there is no dearth of ideas for promoting products and services. It is also important to remember that there is no single tactic that works the best. A combination of strategies is required for a business to see some real results and grow its market share.

Top Five Rookie Marketing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Launching successful marketing campaigns takes creativity, initiative and perseverance. Although most business owners learn the best ways to market through experience and pain-staking trial and error, there are several common mistakes made by new owners that can easily be avoided with a little foresight and preparation. We highlight these “rookie mistakes” below to help new owners generate effective campaigns that bring in higher returns on investment the first time and every time.Rookie Mistake #1: Assuming that you are your own target market.When it comes to marketing your most effective consumer audience, many new business owners make the common mistake of believing they are representative of the target market. For example, they think, “I am upscale, and I read Val-Pak, therefore other women like me read it, and in my market that is the best way to promote.” or, “This ad does not appeal to me, therefore it would not appeal to any woman who is in my demographic group.’”This thinking is wrong and you should avoid advertising based solely on your personal beliefs or preferences. While tailoring your approach to a targeted market is the most effective way of getting your message to the right people, you do not want to narrow your audience too much, or alienate consumers all together. Instead, consider testing different types of ad campaigns, using focus groups and taking note of the marketing aims of other successful companies that share your industry.Rookie Mistake #2: Giving up on a marketing plan too soon.Do not assume your direct mail campaign is a failure because your 5,000 piece mailing only yielded 10 inquiries. Creating brand awareness takes time. Re-evaluate your mailing list and the criteria used when selecting the recipients. If you know that the parameters used were on point, trust your instinct. Be patient and keep at it. Through persistence, you will build your membership base.It is common for new business owners to blame the marketing when they do not sell products or services effectively. A seasoned pro knows to keep close track of closing percentages so that he/she knows where their team is lacking. Manage every aspect of your business and keep up with any feedback you are getting. By tracking what your clients are doing, as well as how you are being received, you can pinpoint which marketing efforts are working the best.Rookie Mistake #3: “Saving” money by ordering inexpensive print materials.Ordering printed marketing materials from an online print wholesaler, a local printer, or producing your own on a home inkjet printer will nearly always translate to diminished quality. Many times, a prospective client will make a decision about your services or products based upon a single postcard, business card, or flyer they receive. Perception is reality when it comes to print quality. Keeping your print material and stationary at high quality presents a polished, professional image to the world and is well worth the money invested.Rookie Mistake #4: Not keeping consistent with your universal image or brand.Specific companies serve a specific market niche. For example, elements for women is an upscale, boutique fitness spa promoting a balanced approach to a healthy lifestyle: body, beauty, and mind. Every single marketing directive is consistent with this philosophy. The company does not aim their message at men or those interested in YMCA-type fitness facilities, because that is not consistent with the brand. While first-time business owners will want to target EVERYONE in hopes of getting more hits, they will get more results from directing their efforts towards people their brand is targeted at. It’s quality over quantity. Bottom line: stick to your niche and you will be very successful.Rookie Mistake #5: Not taking advantage of off-premise marketing opportunities.Some of the best, most cost-effective marketing can be accomplished through community events and sponsorships, and there are numerous ways to get involved while promoting your business. A community event can take many forms, including a marathon, local festival or charity ball. Although the cost varies depending on the type of event you are involved in, it is usually less costly and more personal than advertising and is a great grass-roots approach to marketing.You can increase your impact at events by setting up kiosks and trade booths. Be sure to leverage the inclusion of your logo on all printed marketing materials, including event programs, t-shirts and merchandise. The cost is small and you’ll make a good return on your investment provided your team assertively seeks and captures leads at the event. Make sure you and your team are properly attired in professional or branded gear and are excited about getting out into the community. Energy is contagious!

Best Place To Find Fun Women’s Beach Sandals For Summer

Women’s beach sandals come in a wide range of designs, colors and prices. While this is usually great as it means you have lots to choose from, sometimes the numerous choices can pose a dilemma in itself. How do you choose one pair from among so many? What’s an even bigger waste of time is when you spend hours searching for a pair that has the features and colors that you like and then you find that the price is just out of your budget. So you have to start all over again.

Instead of going this route, there’s a better way to search for women’s beach sandals in the style you like at a price you can afford. The key is to shop online at a store that’s reputed for their low prices.

Hansensurf – your one stop online shop for women’s beach sandals

Before you head out surfing San Diego, take a minute to surf online at Hansensurf
for a pair of sandals. If you’ve never heard of Hansensurf before, this is an online store that is known for their high quality apparel for men, women and children at some of the lowest prices you’ll find anywhere.

With regards to women’s beach sandals, Hansensurf offers a gorgeous collection from big brands such as Olukai, Sanuk, Cobain, and more. Although each brand creates footwear lines in completely different styles and colors, one thing they all have in common is quality. When you buy a pair of women’s beach sandals from any of these brands you know you’re getting the best value for your money. Their sandals are super comfortable without compromising on style or durability.

Choosing a pair is very easy. You can use the filters to narrow down your choices according to brand, style, or size. Very rarely will you find such a large selection at any traditional neighborhood store where you would usually have to go from one store to another in search of a style you like and in your size.

And when you shop from any of these brands at Hansensurf, you get even better value for your money. This is because of the additional discounts that the store offers over and above their already low prices. You’ll be happy to hear that you get a 10% discount right off on any purchase on your first online order. There’s even more. If the value of your purchases is over $50, the store will ship your order to your door step free of cost, racking up the savings even more.