You've got your small business up and running. The only problem is you're not getting nearly the number of customers you want. Advertising could turn things around, but you don't have budget for enough advertising to make a difference.

This is where a lot of businesses give up. After a few very disappointing months they figure it's time to cut their losses and throw in the towel. It doesn't have to be that way.

It's important to figure a large part of your operating budget for consistent advertising. Marketing and advertising don't work unless they're repeated week after week. Before you launch a new business, product, or service make sure you have a reliable marketing method to promote it with.

Also remember that newspapers, radio, magazines, and e-zines hand out millions of dollars worth of FREE advertising each month. It's free publicity and just about any business can qualify. The rules are simple. Give an editor or publisher a good story or helpful information and they'll return the favor by mentioning your business. You can sometimes have the good fortune of having you and your business featured as stars in a major story by a major media. Such exposure can bring you thousands of dollars
in business over night.

Here are some simple methods for getting your name and story to the press:

1. Send out a press release. Make sure your release presents information that the media audience will find interesting, timely, or entertaining. Make sure to include your contact information at the top of the release and start with the most important information first.

2. Write an article with helpful or interesting information. You don't have to be a great writer. Just put what you know down in short conversational sentences.

3. Write a letter to the editor. Address an issue of importance, provide tips for readers, help with missing information, or provide some insight.

Keep in mind that free publicity is not the same as paid advertising. You can't demand that the media give you publicity and they won't be very happy if you insist on telling them what to cover. Still, occasional
publicity can be just the boost your ad budget needs.

The WorkShop provides Media Directories on CD-ROM. Your source for over 10,000 newspapers, 3,000 magazines & 2,000 e-zines. Database programs allowing you to sort and report the information in a way that works best for you. See her website at