We asked which marketing technique works best for your business and the results were conclusive. Not a single reader advocated radio advertising as a marketing method and only two per cent picked either local newspaper adverts or email marketing as the best option for a small business.
Direct mail and online advertising were popular but the overwhelming majority, 62 per cent, said that word of mouth advertising does the most to send business your way.
See also: Using radio as an advertising medium
Our poll highlights the importance for small business owners of providing a good, personal service to your customers and, moreover, not being afraid to ask for referrals and recommendations.
Smaller players rely heavily on the local community of businesses and clients to generate sales. Recommending other companies that you have worked with and sending business each other’s way is a great method of increasing sales.
Not only is a recommendation a cheap way of gaining business, it is more highly trusted by consumers than many other ways of promoting your small firm.
The poll also shows that networking opportunities are invaluable for the self-employed. Building a base of complementary businesses with which you can work helps to strengthen your ties with the local business community and assists in generating sales.