Thu. May 26th, 2022

There is little doubt these days that business in Britain is tough. 2011 has seen the surprise announcement that the economy has shrunk has apparently shocked and disappointed government and top level economists, but in reality, few of us doing business at ground level are really surprised at all.

Small business these days face an ever steeper up hill battle in the face of spiralling fuel costs, high taxes, huge rent and rates bills, expensive and difficult internet advertising costs which are more and more complicated to keep up with. Every day, hundreds of small businesses, shops and enterprises across Britain sadly close down, some have been operating for decades, some just a few months.

The notion of the green grass of England does indeed seems lost in the distant poetry of songs voiced only in schools filled with naive little children filled with hope that will one day be dashed for most of them.

But we can’t all just stop and stand still. Things don’t work that way. The government demands for increased taxes must be paid somehow, as do the new electricity bills, phone bills, supermarket shopping bills etc. It’s all got to be paid from an ever shrinking pocket, somehow.

So what actually can we do as small businessmen to help ourselves cut costs and survive? Well, for starters we should look at what we spend on things like marketing. Many small businesses are lured by the expectation that the internet will deliver huge amounts of hungry new customers. Indeed many of us have been tempted into spending a monthly fortune on the services of internet gurus, advertising agencies, online campaigns with the giants like Google and other expensive mechanisms which promise to deliver a steady stream of solvent customers. For some people it works, but the sad truth is, I haven’t met many plumbers, or carpenters or electricians or carpet fitters or self employed drivers that are managing to develop and maintain the expertise to keep up with the internet’s ever changing landscape. Let alone exploit it cost effectively. For must of us, the thought of paying 60 pence, 70 pence, a Pound per visitor to our simple websites is absurd, deranged in fact. But that’s considered normal pricing from the perspective of giant companies reporting profits and turnover in the millions and even billions per 3-month quarter.

Wherever we as small businesses think of turning for marketing help, someone has a cash register waiting to jingle. So what can we do that works and is cheap?

Lots of things on the surface look like they might be cheap ways of getting new business, lets have a quick look at some of the more popular, even old fashioned ways. In the good old days you could sit down, write a great letter to a few hundred local people, post them and expect a response. Today, that process is going to cost you 41 pence for each 1st class stamp, 6 pence for an envelope, 3 pence for the paper to write on, 1 pence (or more) for the ink, several hours fiddling around printing out your letters, folding them and then posting them. And what do we get back these days having sent out say, a thousand letters…? How about… not a lot? And that money’s gone, binned, the paper will end up being recycled mostly.

What else can we do? How about doing an email campaign…. No no no no. Do you have all the double opt in blah blah blah and all the track this n that and the unsubscribe buttons and management etc…? nightmare. So we get an agency to do it, hmm maybe not, I just looked up the price!

OK… So what does a local tradesmen do that IS cost effective and doesn’t take forever to do or cost the earth or need a science degree? Well we can get a load of business cards printed I suppose. Of course we all do that anyway. What else? We put signage on our vehicles of course. That can be expensive but it does lead to work and business. What else? We can get recommendations from people we’ve done work for before. Super, what a novel idea! Never thought of that one before. You could pay a business psycho guru consultant from who used to work at business link a fortune for that little nugget. OK what else? How about simply wear your own advert on your back! Heck, you got it on the van and that just sits in the road all day. Every time you go to the supermarket the thousands of other people using the car park might of course see that van and your signage. But when YOU are in the supermarket, surely it makes sense to advertise FREE to as many people as physically walk past you! Surely! You can do that with printed t shirts that cost less than a tenner and last for months if not years. That’s got to be the worlds most cost effective way to advertise. Too obvious for you? I should co co!

I reckon that if you have taken the time plough through this whole article then you must be looking for some kind of answer. Its simple. Cheap as chips.  Wear one EVERYWHERE! Let’s face it, if you walk into a pub where you are not known with just an ordinary t shirt not telling people who you are and what you do, then you are letting go an opportunity to easily find the person in that same pub who might well need your services. Simple as that. I’ve had business from someone in a supermarket car park because obviously I always wear my own work on my back.

Recently we had a load of work done on the house, nearly every tradesmen working on the place commissioned me to print them up some t shirts. OK that really was an expensive way for me to get some new business, but hey, it is what it is… The point is, if you are a tradesman or small business owner interacting with people in their homes, you’d better look professional as possible. Your logo printed on smart polo shirts can do that for you.

Custom printed t shirts are cheap, effective and a quality way to attract new business regardless of your trade. You can be big, small (I’ll still print em), rich or struggling, t shirts printed with your advertisement is cheaper than mailshots, internet advertising, business cards, leaflet drops, vehicle signage or just about any form of marketing accept direct word of mouth. You won’t find a cheaper way to get new business and it helps you project a professional image that encourages potential customers to talk to you.

By admin

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