Advertising for Your Own Business?

Updated on August 02, 2011
M.M. asks from Santa Monica, CA
15 answers

Okay so I'm toying with the idea of starting my own business.
I know not the best timing but let's say I give it a go, what's the best way to advertise as inexpensively as possible?
-Putting one of those magnet signs on your car? If so, have you tried that and did it harm the car?
-Placing flyers on cars/telephone poles?
-Having mugs made w/business name to hand out/drop off?
-Having T-shirts made w/advertisment/business name to wear?
Ugh. What? What do you think? What have you seen that sticks in your mind?

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Seattle on

What's the business?

I'll say the one thing that REALLY alters my liklihood to use one company over another:

1 has a website, 1 does not. I'll call the one with the website.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Pittsburgh on

You really should read Guerrilla Marketing by Jay Conrad Levinson--it's a MUST read for anyone starting/advertising their own business. A classic, basic book focusing on finding your niche target customers and how to reach them specifically.
The last thing you want to do is to throw 20 lbs. of spaghetti at a wall & hope some of it sticks.

AFTER you reach your customer base, and close a deal, you may want to look into a leave-behind item (M. pad, mug--ideally something that pertains to your service or product) to keep your name prominent in their lives.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

Depends on the type of business. What are you going to be doing?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

I will tell you, I HATE to see a flyer on my car windshield! I don't know why, but I absolutely hate it!

I usually vow to NOT do business with them.... I can't tell you why it turns me off so much, but it does.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I wouldn't put a magnet on my car b/c my husband drives it sometimes, and he has been known (on occasion) to give an "unfriendly" gesture to people who annoy him :-) I do pet sitting/dog walking and have had the most luck targeting the neighborhoods I want to work (the nicer/wealthier ones) with those realtor-type signs that stick in the ground. I put them at the entrances and pull them when I've gotten enough business.


answers from Spokane on

I have a home based business and I have one of those car magnets that you asked about on my van. Actually one on both sides and it doesn't harm the vehicle or paint job. Also you might look at as a relatively inexpensive website to create advertising material. You can use one of their designs or upload your own logo.



answers from Honolulu on

I have used this before for my home business.
It is great.
You bid, on your price.

2) Also, do you have a website for your business????
Most businesses do.

I have also used them, for business advertising materials. It is great and good pricing. You can have anything made, by Vista Print.
Everything that you listed in your post.

Good luck


answers from New York on

It's a GREAT time to launch a business :-) Entrepeneurs are the backbone of our economy! My husband and I have a bookkeeping business we just started and we get clients on craigslist. If you need help on how to post ads or anything, private message me and I can give you some tips. Also set up a website, and make sure it's search engine friendly. (Depending on your business, but everyone needs a website). Also the SBA (Small Business Administration) has free business assistance in every area, run by retired executives (SCORE) google it in your area, and you can get an appointment to go see someone. A marketing plan is a good idea. What kind of business?


answers from Lynchburg on

Hi mama-

For me...a catchy name sticks with me...when living in Northern va...and before we had a house that even HAD a fire place...I often saw a van in the neighborhood with company name on it called "Ash Kickers"

It was another year or two til we had a fireplace...but after asking friends about that company's service...I was more than happy to call on them...

A 'double entendre' goes a LONG way for me!

What is the name/type of business??




answers from New York on

The type of advertising you do really depends on the type of business and who your trying to sell your services or products to.

Magnetic signs - we had a small "ribbon" on the back of the van, no major damage, but you tell that it was there.

Flyers on cars - NO NO NO, most people just throw them out or into the parking lot.

Flyers on local bullitin boards - very inexpensive, although you probably won't get a huge response. It's definitely one way you would want to advertise.

Program books - many schools sell advertising for program books to athelic events or plays. If your target customer is a parent, then this would be a good way.

Sign in front of your home - if you live on a main street you could put up a sign in your front yard



answers from New York on

I think it depends alot on the type of business. If your market is teenagers then T-shirts that are clever and edgey might work if you can get other teens to wear them. If your market is commuters who drive to work then magnetic signs on the sides of cars might work. If your market is moms then you need to advertise where moms go - maybe onlnie forums like this. Online forums may not work for many seniors however and a pennysaver ad could be the thing.

Consider your market and work backwards.


answers from Washington DC on

I mostly advertise on craigslist. I have been in business for about 5 years now and have done great



answers from Pittsburgh on

That is impossible to answer unless you say what the business is. Not all mediums work the same for each message. That being said if I were launching a biz right now I would most definitley put social media and online advertising at the top of my list. Its dirt cheap and can be super effective. But let us know what you are starting so we can help you.



answers from Dallas on

Word of mouth advertising takes a while, but is very effective. There are business networking groups EVERYWHERE, and many of them are free or inexpensive - often just the cost of a meal, as most of them meet at breakfast or lunch. Check out for your area - type "business networking" in the subject and see what happens.

Also, you can give to get - if you have a product or service that you can give away initially, either a few free hours, etc., offer it as a gift for referrals, testimonials, etc.



answers from Chicago on

I do a home daycare, so when I got licensed I had to advertise some way too. I went to They have tons of products on there that are aimed mostly towards advertising. They have a section of "Free Products". That's where I went. I got business cards, flyers, pens, letterhead, and a couple of mugs for free!! All I paid for was shipping, which came to about $15 for everything. Even if you don't use them, it's a good place to look, and then you can see many different options--even if you decide to do stuff yourself.
Oh, and they also have magnets, car magnets, tshirts, etc. TONS of stuff!!

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