Ask Entrepreneur - Marketing

How can I utilize my membership in the local chamber of commerce to promote my business?

I recently joined but am a little unclear as the best way to maximize my membership.
Michael Kaleikini

What value do you see in phone book advertising?

Despite the rise of the digital age, how do you feel about the phone book? I own a lawn and landscape company.
Pattie Simone

What should I do if a good customer wants a reward for how much they spend?

What are our options? Perhaps a rebate linked to how much the customer spends?
Pattie Simone

How can I gain awareness for my company with a limited budget?

I work for a customizable men's dress shirt e-commerce company. With our launch just six months ago, what advice would you have for us to get more buzz?
Michael Kaleikini

How long should I run a TV ad before changing the content?

Since producing TV commercials is costly, is there an average length of time I should plan for a TV commercial to remain effective before it reaches a point of diminishing return?
Michael Kaleikini

How do I decide whether to keep existing staff of the business I'm buying?

There are two employees who want to stay at the insurance business I'm going to buy. I think I can train one of them to perform in a new way. Yet, the other staffer is older and I'm not sure he will respond to change. I would like some interview tips to put the ball in their court to leave or get with the new program.
Elinor Robin

How much of my profit should I spend on marketing?

I just started a new business and landed my first major account. The product is new to the area. What are some ideas to market a new biz?
Pattie Simone

What's the best way to market my new niche business?

I've developed new pain management technology aimed at arthritis sufferers. I have a website and I use social networking, SEO and PPC--but can't seem to attract my target market.
Pattie Simone

Why is it important to define a target market for your business?

When marketing and advertising my business, is it important to have a defined target market? How do I determine my target market?
Michael Kaleikini

What are the biggest problems for sales managers in a down economy?

I want to interview sales managers and want to have an idea of what they are currently struggling with.
Michael Kaleikini

How do we convert trial clients into full-paying members?

We are a small golf membership program that provides discounts on green fees to a network of courses across North America. Over the past couple of years, we have provided a large number of free trial memberships to increase our exposure within the industry. Trial members receive all the same benefits as full-paying ones (discounts, newsletters, tournament invitations, etc.).
Michael Kaleikini

What's the best way to advertise in a saturated market?

I own a massage therapy business in an area saturated with massage therapists. How should I go about marketing my business?
Michael Kaleikini

What's the best way to sell ad space for the first issue of a niche magazine?

I'm self publishing a local niche magazine for the first time and thus have no real readers yet. How can I pitch my magazine to businesses to make them want to buy ad space?
Michael Kaleikini

What's the best corporate structure when seeking funding from VCs?

I am starting a business that will require fund raising from friends and family, as well as angel investors and VCs. I would expect that the funding will be guaranteed with company equity. Should I incorporate as a C corp., allowing me to distribute large shares to investors, but retain majority stake and control?
Ryan Himmel

What are some creative advertising ideas on a small budget?

Aside from fliers, my website, Craigslist, free internet sites, etc., I can't find any good ways to generate new sales leads. I run a guitar lesson business where teachers go to students' homes.
Michael Kaleikini