What quick advice can you give on marketing a small business in the digital economy?
First and foremost, put your URL (or website address) on all of your organization's correspondence. That includes business cards, stationery, posters, flyers, e-mail headers, or footers and any other advertisement activity. Remember, you never know who may read or run across information about your company. Make sure they have the ability to reach you. Second, you have to do your research. No matter what location you're in, most likely your local government has some sort of economic development office as well as a Chamber of Commerce. Both are great resources to ask about events, promotions, and other activities that will allow you to get your name out. Another great resource is the U.S. Small Business Administration's national resources. From regional offices to local business development centers, the SBA is ready to help you out by providing contact information or counseling you on a particular business endeavor. Third, work on all of your vendor and partner relationships. The best marketing technique still remains word-of-mouth. And who is better at telling potential customers about your organization that those who already do business with you. In today's digital economy, that can also mean other types of help. For example, many business partners work with one another on listing each other's URL (website address), know that the other person's site is another avenue to attract customers otherwise foregone. Be cautious, though, in working with linking agreements. You don't want to water down your site with too many links. The goal should always be to link to another site if it builds or provides value to your clients.