Ask Entrepreneur

How do I take advantage of people waiting for a parade in front of my store?

I own a sneaker store on a street that will have a Halloween parade. How do I take advantage of the 1,000 people who who will be waiting around for the parade to start?
Kim T. Gordon

How can I advertise my metal fabrication business in Mexico for exports to the U.S.?

A lot of metal fabrication work is made in China. I think we can compete in quality and price in Mexico, and goods would be transported shorter distances. How can I let know potential customers know that we can do work for them. Are there websites or databases for that?
Kim T. Gordon

How do I reach restaurants to let them know they can advertise their job openings free on my new website?

I'm starting a web-based employment company in Alabama. The website will post jobs for the following industies: quick service, fine and casual dining restaurants, cafeterias and hotel restaurants. The jobs posting are for cooks, chefs, servers, management, supervisors, etc. I want to reach restaurant owners en masse, rather than knocking on doors or making phone calls.
Kim T. Gordon

How can I market and grow my 8-year-old IT business?

I have been running my IT company for eight years. I can sell clients when I get in front of them, but I have no marketing materials. I don't know how to put my services into words, and I have a very small budget. If I am able to get more clients, I could spend more on marketing. The site looks awesome.
Kim T. Gordon

How do I target more relevant traffic to my website (online store)?

My website (www.tlbaseballcards.net) currently has an online store. I have had GREAT success on eBay and still do. I would like to move my sales from eBay to my personal site. The problem is, I can't get the sales because I can't target the right audience. I already did SEO, tried adwords (too costly), blogs/social networks, forums and direct mail. Are there any other opportunities out there?
Pattie Simone

How do I creatively advertise my mystery shopping service to businesses?

I run a mystery shopping business. Companies hire us to send "undercover" customers into their business to report back the level of customer service received. We are looking for creative ways to advertise our services to companies. Businesses that benefit from our services are restaurants, hospitality and retailers. We have already tried newspaper and magazine ads with minimal success. Any attention-grabbing' suggestions?
Kim T. Gordon

I have a coffee shop on the third floor of a business building, with very limited visibility. How can I increase my foot traffic?!

We knew location would be a challenge. We have been open for about 10 months now and have regular customers, but not nearly enough. We work closely with a medical clinic on the same floor, and get a good chunk of business from drug reps. I've tried fliers, discounts on drinks, coupons in the different offices, but nothing seems to attract enough people. For the time being, we don't have to pay any rent because the medical clinic pays for the space. Everyone who tries our products like them, but we need to get more people to try them. Patients are not typically regulars, so it's hard getting new customers.
Kim T. Gordon

What's the BEST use of my advertising budget as a retail auto dealer?

As a retail auto dealer, what percentage of my advertising budget should I devote to various media, such as the web, newspapers, magazines, mailers, etc.
Kim T. Gordon

How do we tell our existing clients that we are renaming our company without confusing or alienating them?

We provide professional services to blue-chip companies. The old name is dated; we re-started four years ago. The new name will be more contemporary and open-ended.
Kim T. Gordon

How do I determine the target area for distributing my fliers?

I run a dating website targeted to the Denver metro areas. We just ran 172 commercials and are now going to do heavy flyer advertising. When I received the 15,000 flyers, it hit me. I have hired a company to distribute them, but I need to know how to reach the right area without overreaching. I need to target the smallest area I can with multiple blasts. Going by ZIP code would cover too much territory. Would block by block be better?
Kim T. Gordon

We are relocating our business. How can we maintain our current clients and draw new customers?

In one month we will be moving about five miles from our current location and reopening our children's resale store in a new town. What would you recommend we do to ensure that we keep our current customers and attract new customers to our store?
Kim T. Gordon

How do we cost-effectively market a home-exterior product to custom-home builders?

We manufacture a home-exterior product that inhances the curb appeal of upper-end homes. We are a vendor of the nation's largest exterior wholesale distributors. In our local city we placed our product on the third home being built in a high-end subdivision. After completion, our product was displayed on 23 of the 34 homes. Our product on the right home and location is our greatest sales tool. How do we place our product in front of the decision-makers of custom-home builders across the nation?
Kim T. Gordon