1. Host an open house and invite the local media and residents to sample your product or service.
2. Distribute fliers door to door in your community, or on the windshields of cars in nearby parking lots.
3. Post eye-catching announcements about your offerings on bulletin boards and kiosks in heavily traveled areas. Be sure to include tear-off slips on the bottom of each announcement that include your business name, telephone number, and brief product description so interested individuals can easily take that information with them.
4. Purchase and display magnetic signs--with your business name, telephone number, logo and offerings information--on the sides of your car.
5. Invest in attractive business cards and letterhead that will convey a sense of professionalism.
6. Persuade established businesses in your area to distribute promotional literature about your product or service, or to make it available on their counters.
7. Create and distribute direct-mail postcards, letters or brochures highlighting the benefits of your offerings.
8. Take out an ad in the Yellow Pages of your local telephone book.
9. Send a press release to local media outlets in hopes that they will do a story about your business for free. Stress a unique product feature or service advantage so that editors will view the story as "news."
10. Encourage satisfied customers to share their experiences and pass your name along to others.
Let's Go Party LLC, 4531 Manorview Rd., Baltimore, MD 21229, (410) 624-0584.
Meg-A-Nut Inc., 1574 Buttitta Dr., Streamwood, IL 60107, (630) 837-2551.
Proudfoot Wearable Art, 1402 Bridgeport Ln., Alexandria, MN 56308, (320) 763-4904.