Experts Offer Marketing Tips

Two thousand three hundred dollars. That's the average annual budget that most SOHOs (small offices and home offices) allocate to market their businesses after print advertising buys, according to Link Resources.

"And it isn't enough in this highly competitive marketplace," says Jay Levinson, author of Guerrilla Marketing for the Home-based Business and member of the Microsoft Small Business Council. The Council helps small businesses and home offices get "more bang for their budget buck," according to Levinson, through an ongoing nationwide educational campaign sponsored by Microsoft Publisher.

It recommends these ten strategies:

  1. Do-it-yourself-marketing. Bring design and printing in-house by using desktop publishing software.

  2. Consider Newsletters. It's an easy, cost-effective and dramatic way to "sell" your business. It provides "the style and depth simple letters cannot," says Council member Chuck Green, author of The Desktop Publisher's Idea Book.

  3. Online Networking. Online chats can expand the contacts you make through memberships in professional clubs.

  4. The Database. Use it to segment your market and focus your communications.

  5. Care & Feeding of the Customer Base. Don't overlook inexpensive ways to stay in touch with your clients... from pager/ voice-mail and fax services to mail merges to send customized materials.

  6. Be Human. In this technology age, customers appreciate the personal touch. Don't overlook the telephone.

  7. Tech-Wise or Business Foolish. Be sure you strategically integrate your Web Site into your overall marketing program.

  8. Consider Surroundings. Schedule business meetings where you'll appear to be the most professional.

  9. Plan Ahead. Set aside an hour each week to consider your marketing initiatives.

  10. Never Stop Learning. Don't work in a vacuum. There are too many ideas that can be at your fingertips in seconds via classes, TV courses, and such organizations as the Microsoft Small Business Council.

"Today, SOHO can compete with the Fortune 500 by actively marketing their businesses, no matter what the budget," says Council member Paul Tulenko, "especially if they consider these ten easy initiatives."

If you have a question for the Council, you can e-mail it to: For more marketing tips, visit the Microsoft Publisher Web Site: (NAPSI)

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