16. Advertise


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The other way to draw customers to your business is via advertising. In the term advertising, I’m including sponsoring events and anything else where you pay to have your brand seen by potential customers.

Advertising is often associated with a sleazy feeling. There is, however, nothing wrong with advertising when done well. Just remember, the whole idea of advertising is to spend considerably less money per customer than the customer pays you for your service.

The trouble is that most advertising is expensive, and you often need to pay for ads before the ads are published. In these cases, do all that you can to measure the results of each ad, so that you can later determine whether they were worth the time and money or whether they were ineffective.

For online ads, especially Google ads, you have far more control and a far better chance to measure the success. But, in return you have to deal with an advertising market that is based around an auction, where the prices change every minute and where you get to include only two short lines of text in your ad.

Most of my startups were selling services to companies, not consumers, and yet we did use Google advertising to find customers, and we spent quite a lot of money on sponsorships at our industry’s major conferences.

Like everything else with startups, start small. Test, measure, and iterate to find what works best for your business.



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