Things you will need:
Business cards, business cards, and more business cards! You can easily find 1,000 quality cards for under $25, and this is an essential tool when promoting your service to local businesses.
Your business name. Something catchy, something available, and something that will appeal to your community. Registering your business name is important, if only to ensure that you don’t set up all the work just to have someone steal the name out from under you.
Getting your business license should be put off. The first year you will not charge anything, assuming you build the business in preparation for a January launch, and as a result it will prove to be an unnecessary fee. But we’ll get into that a bit later.
HOWEVER, there is an amendment to the above suggestion. There are many reasons to join your local chamber of commerce, mostly related to meeting and networking with other local business owners. This will, however, require that you have your business license. Also, one or two businesses may not work with you without this. I’ve only had one person make a fuss. I went out and got my license the next day. But I still feel that this can be started without it, if you are short on money.
How the process works:
You find businesses that are willing to offer a year round discount to exclusive card holders. With some hard work, you should have no less than 70 businesses in time to print.
The point is, people will pay for the card for two reasons: That it benefits the community, via fundraisers, etc, and that it appeals to them in the way of offering some serious savings. Big businesses will often say no. Not always, but even offered free, some people will either believe you to be up to something, or they have been hassled by advertisers for so long that they are cold inside.
Do not get discouraged. Start focusing on small businesses. These people don’t have a lot of money for advertising. They are excited to find something that’s free. And once you have THEM, you have a legitimate image which paves the way to more businesses joining.
So, you’ll offer to add businesses for free for the first year. This gives you the numbers you need, and, let’s be honest, you really need them. But don’t worry. The sales of your cards will generate an impressive ROI, all of which will be used to continue the next year with the goal of charging businesses between $100 and $800 to participate.
You will need to design the booklets yourself, assuming that you are a bit short on cash. Photoshop should do nicely. If you stick to a basic color listing, including a logo, discount and contact info, you should be able to fit all your businesses within an 8 to 12 page booklet. If you do not have the technical know-how, you should be able to hire someone locally, and at …