Ensuring your business is among the first that springs to mind when customers are looking for a product or service is key to success, says Nigel Hammond
When times are tough, businesses inevitably begin to look at ways of reducing costs. Some operators will consider cutting their advertising budgets when they hit a difficult patch. Interestingly, others will also look at taking the same course of action when things are going well, thinking that with business flourishing, they don’t need to advertise at that particular time.
My approach has always been different: I take the view that it’s vital to continue advertising my business through both the booming times and more challenging phases of operations – in other words, throughout the highs and lows.
I’ve arrived at this conclusion after several years of trying out a variety of ways of working and analysing the results for my waste clearance and Man with a Van business. I’ve decided that while it might seem counterintuitive to continue to spend money on advertising in tough times when the operating environment is challenging and competition fierce, it’s critical to keep your name out there. The same goes for when business is booming; it’s common to hear people say they don’t need to advertise because things are going swimmingly, but I’ve come to realise that this approach is short-sighted. You need to remind your customers of your brand, whether they’re using your services now, have done in the past or may do so in the future. Keeping your name in people’s minds is key in today’s competitive and ever-changing marketplace.
Turbulence with a capital T has been the name of the game over the past 16 months – none of us saw the Covid-19 pandemic coming, and lockdowns, combined with operating restrictions, sent forecasts out of the window for many of us. Regular advertising means your name is the one that will spring to mind as things return to an even keel.
I believe this to be especially true for local businesses who are often competing with national names. Some small businesses fear being overshadowed by major players, but I see being a local business as having key advantages and ones that I can harness through advertising. Having my name, face and local contact details on as many media platforms as possible provides me with recognition and importantly, lets customers know that I’m easy to find and never far away for a chat, quote or follow-up visit. It also dovetails with the current and very welcome movement within communities to support local businesses. I believe in covering all bases with my advertising, from print, to ensure I reach people that aren’t on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, to social media. Keeping the message direct is also key to delivering results, I’ve found. Keep it simple and keep it constant is the name of the game.
Nigel can be contacted on