Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Marketing on a Tight Budget

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Marketing on a Tight Budget

Article excerpt

NEW YORK -- As if starting a business weren't hard enough, what with getting financing and hiring employees, there's also the monumental task of advertising and promoting your product or service, something you're probably trying to do on a tight budget.

An obvious place for many young companies to start these days is the Internet. It is relatively easy for a business to construct its own Web site. If you don't want to go to the trouble of registering your own domain, there are many companies that will host a site for free (if you don't know any, you can just search for "Web pages").

If you're not sure about how to build a page, talk to a techno- savvy friend, or look at some of the how-to books on the market.

But advertising your business through a Web page might not be enough -- Internet users might visit your site once and then never again. Ron Gielgun, who's written books about online businesses, suggests in another book, 222 Ways to Promote Your Business on a Budget, that entrepreneurs create chat rooms connected with their sites.

Using a legal practice as an example, he writes, "Having a chat room in your site, where visitors can share their legal problems with other accident victims is reason enough for such visitors to return to your site again and again."

Gielgun also suggests expanding the concept of your site beyond just an ad for your business. If you have a motorcycle accessory shop, he says, why not make the Web site into a magazine for biking enthusiasts -- with plenty of references to your store throughout.

Once your site is operating, you'll need to register it with search engines such as Yahoo, AltaVista, Lycos, Excite and Metacrawler. And according to Gielgun, you'll want to reregister your site to be sure it shows up at or near the top in a list of search results.

There are also plenty of low-tech ways to market your company.

Entrepreneur magazine, which caters to small business owners, suggests going to the bookstore, where there are plenty of books for self-marketers and for people just starting out in business. …

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