Posted in Campfire

I don’t remember how old I was, somewhere between 7 and 10, but I remember vividly spending my summers doing marketing for a small business. After a good swim in the morning sun, I would come inside, fix myself a microwavable burrito (Sam’s Club had just opened and I imagine they were a good deal), and turn the TV to TBS to watch my Braves. Such luxuries did not come without cost. It was my job during those glorious summer days to stuff envelopes with product brochures for my father’s garage door business.

At the time I didn’t prefer this tedious task. What if I was looking down and missed the rare chance that Dale Murphy would be called upon to play catcher again. As I grew older I finally realized the importance of stuffing envelopes. We weren’t just putting some random papers in an envelop and mailing them to every address on the coast. No, my dad had a plan that would stir up business in an extremely slow building environment. He subscribe to a publication call the Treen Report, a monthly publication that listed everyone who applied for a building permit in the area.  He could then determine if they were building a residential or commercial building. After determining this we would send out brochures to those future customers.

Instead of wasting money trying to reach every Tom, Dick and Harry, my dad specifically targeted those customers that would be most likely to buy his product and services, which worked pretty successfully. All small businesses need some type of marketing, but you must use your money wisely. Know who your customer is. Know what your customer wants. Know how to reach your customer.