Market gardeners need customers; customers come from effective marketing. Here's the secret marketing weapon that can help your build a successful farm (or home) businesses.
First, what DOESN'T work.
Trust me on this: space advertising - i.e. like in newspapers or magazines - does NOT work for farms or work at home businesses. Classified ads are expensive, they are not targeted - i.e. they go to everybody, whether they would be a good customer or not - and they rarely get a response. So, what does work?
The Market Gardener's Secret Marketing Weapon - Flyers!
We have used mail-out flyers to build two successful businesses in the last 5 years - our farm CSA, and a cleaning business owned by our daughter. Flyers were the secret to bringing in customers for both businesses. Here's the advantages that flyers have over other kinds of marketing:
Advantage 1: Flyers are targeted.
You can pick the locations you want the flyers delivered to (by the post office), and specifically target the areas that are most promising.
Advantage 2: Flyers provide lots of information.
Our flyers are 1 full page, printed on both sides; that is two full pages of information we can give to our prospective customers. We want lots of room to explain what we do and get our message across.
Advantage 3: Flyers get results.
We can count on about a 1% response rate from our initial flyer distribution in a given neighbourhood. This means that, if we send out 1500 flyers (comes to about $300, depending on printing costs) we will net about 15 customers. This means (in our case) about $9000 in sales from a $300 promotion - pretty good payback!
How to use flyers
Step 1 - scout the neighbourhoods that look like good prospects;
Step 2 - get the number of households in that area from the local post office; also find out how they need the flyers bundled.
Step 3: write your flyer
Step 4 - get the flyer copied at your local print shop (tip: we like to use colored paper, it costs a penny more per flyer but makes them 'stand out')
Step 5 - do the mailout from your local post office, and . . .
get ready to follow up with customers!
Our experience says flyers are a cost-efficient and results-effective way to build any work-at-home or farm-based business. No other means of communicating with your potential customers is as targeted, or provides such immediate results. Write on!
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