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Barter is Better

Heidi Lamar March 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine
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One of the biggest challenges facing most business owners is getting the most bang for their marketing buck. Remember when you first opened your business? You spent months choosing the perfect lines and linens. You sorted through countless paint samples searching for just the right colors and spared no expense in purchasing the best equipment. You jumped through every hoop the bank set in front of you, determined to find a way to make your dream a reality. After countless sleepless nights, you finally opened your doors and hoped that people would show up, and they did.

All of your friends and some of your friends’ friends came through your door, admired your beautiful business, and some of them even spent money. Your phone rang off the hook. Unfortunately half of the calls were from advertising reps that heard about your new business and asked if they could stop by to share their incredible opportunities with you. You assured them that you had more business than you knew what to do with already.

Beginner’s mistakes

By the second month, when everyone you knew had already come and gone, and the phone had grown quiet, you started to worry. Maybe you should call some of those ad reps back. That’s when you found out how expensive advertising can be. The radio rep said he could put you on your favorite station for just $800, which didn’t sound that bad, until you realized that was $800 per week. He insisted that “Advertising doesn’t cost, it pays,” so you took out your credit card and made an investment. You imagined hearing your favorite disc jockey talk about your business while you drove to the bank to deposit all the money you were going to make.

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