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Starting a Small Business/advertising a business


Hello Mr. or Mrs. Almerico, this is Molly. I'm 14 years old and my parents have opened a Nail and Spa salon for a month now. The family business isn't doing too well considering that we're renting the place. We're also losing lots of money due to the few customers and a significant cost to the landowner. My parents are struggling with the little money in their hands and are desperate for the advertising to get people in. I was thinking about sending direct mail throughout the neighborhood. Will you be able to give me any advice for the business and options for advertising? Thank you for taking the time to read this message.

Hello Molly, you write well for a 14 year old.    This is a common problem. Direct mail might not be the answer because the return is usually about 1 - 3% but if you can get the advertising at a cheap cost then this is a good idea.   You can also consider the following:

1) Have a grand opening with special prices, guests, coffee morning etc.  Tell the local paper and radio.  
2)Do a google search for how to write a good press release and get that released locally.  Look at to see how to get it sent round.  Concentrate locally only.
3)Have special mornings and afternoons for target audiences like, "new mums", "grannies" etc where you offer special prices and coffee, cakes etc.  Look at the kind of thing that pizza shops do with their coupons.  This could be the subject of your mail drop.
4)Have a loyalty programme where you offer a free treatment for every ten done.  You will need a loyalty card for this.
5)Put the spa in a coupon book.  A google search will find your local coupon producer.
6)Add your spa to the local directories of shops.
7)Contact local wedding organisers, shops, boutiques etc and offer recipricol advertising and/or special deals to brides.  Do the same with vacation shops, people will want to look good before getting married or going on vacation.
8)Offer bridal packages or hen do packages.

Do some google searches on guerilla marketing and look for some unusual ideas.

I think you can help your parents with a few hours googling and internet searching for ideas, directories etc.  Maybe you could also add the details to local forums and social sites.

The more places you can get your spa in front of locals the more chance you have of getting more customers.  I am sure if you all sit down for an hour and make a list of where your potential customers will be some more ideas will come to you.

Good luck.

Starting a Small Business

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Lee Lister


If you are a serious entrepreneur and want to set up your own business or ensure that your existing business is more profitable then let me assist you. I answer questions on business start up, business strategy, business models, business planning, marketing plans, marketing strategy, branding, business tune ups and business improvement. I do not answer any legal, tax or accountancy questions - you should see your own professional adviser about these. If you cannot be bothered to read and rate my answers - I can't be bothered to answer yours! If you have a small internet based company, I would welcome your help in completing a survey and helping me with my Masters Dissertation. I am researching how a small company can build its brand and grow quickly using social media marketing. The survey takes 4 minutes and all information is confidential and will NEVER be used for marketing purposes. Thank you in advance. The link to the survey is below:


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