Sometimes solo professionals start a new business and find that they do not have enough business to fill the day. Of course, the problem that results is on their bottom line and they may be tempted to quit trying or close the doors. Investing in marketing materials might help the situation a little but that costs money - often money that you don't have.
There is an interesting way to draw attention that does not cost you money out of your pocket though.
One of my friends opened a practice and has tried all the traditional methods of drawing in new clients. She has been very diligent in her advertising but even though it has been several months, she still does not have enough clients to fill her day.
Recently, she decided to take one day and offer free services to those who cannot afford them. She did this out of the goodness of her heart but the results have been very interesting.
First of all, the newspaper did a feature article (without charge) about her charity efforts. Everyone loves a kind person and I am positive that this has had a very positive effect on the community who might otherwise never even pay attention to her business. Then the newspaper did a follow up article that talked about the results of this project. There was apparently so much demand that she ended up serving double the number of individuals she had first planned to see.
Now there were a number of benefits to her efforts. First of all, many people can enjoy better health now that they have had the services and the education that my friend offered. The media coverage was very well done and did not cost anything for my friend who might have had to pay several hundred dollars for advertising. She gained respect and built her reputation as well as awareness of her business. And remember, those who received services have friends and relatives who will likely be grateful and consider booking appointments for themselves in the future. Remember, word of mouth is the best advertising.
What did it cost my friend? Two days of her time which was not booked anyway - and a few inexpensive supplies. You see she had already paid the rent and utilities and other costs. So, she filled two days when she might otherwise have devoted to worry and enriched the lives of a few dozen individuals.
Great marketing and good business practices, don't you think?