So you've got a stack of business cards for your new business. Now what? Well, now you hustle. There's no substitute for pounding the pavement when it comes to the hustle, so your best bet is just to get moving.
What the professionals don't tell you
There's an important aspect to dropping off business cards that a lot of new business owners often overlook. Unfortunately, it's one of the most important parts of the entire thing. It's called networking. Well, most people call it networking, but really it's just talking to people and building personal relationships.
You could go around your town or city and just drop business cards off somewhere, anyway, and you might get some customers. However, if you walk in, speak to someone, tell them what you do, and make a good impression on them, you're going to help them remember you. These two approaches require different levels of effort and time, and for some new business owners, it can require a little practice to get good at talking about what you do and marketing yourself.
Your goal shouldn't be to simply walk in and drop off your business cards. Instead, your goal should be to make an impression so when someone who needs your services comes into that place, the person you talked to immediately remembers you and happily passes along your business card.
About those 5 great places ...
Honestly, there are way more than 5 great places, and the best ones for your business largely depends on the services you offer. We've picked a few good standbys that offer great opportunities to make conversation and leave an impression.
1. Apartment offices
Apartment offices are always great choices. Apartment complexes are almost always in need of cleaners, pest control, window washers, pool cleaners, and more. The one thing to keep in mind is that competition is often high here, which is all the more reason to be sure you focus on leaving a good impression. Strike up a conversation with the apartment manager, talk about your skills and experience, and let them know you're interested in chatting about the opportunity to serve them and their residents.
2. Real estate offices
If you've ever tried to sell a house you know that it's a constant race to give the house curb appeal and draw as much interest from potential buyers as you can. This is what makes real estate offices a great choice. Similar to apartment complexes, real estate agents and offices are driven by the need for landscapers and lawn care, handymen, plumbers, electricians, cleaners, stagers, pressure washers, and more. The competition will be high here too, but there's a lot of relationship opportunity.
3. Small office complexes
Small office buildings have loads of great opportunity for leaving cards and making new business relationships. The trick is finding the owner of the property, which can take some work. The same needs apply here, but because a lot of small office buildings are owned by a single management company, you'll likely hit the jackpot if you can get a job with one of them. Once they see you do good work, you'll likely find yourself having conversations about helping with other office buildings they own.
4. Local community centers and business centers
Depending on the size of your city, this may or may not be a good option for you—but there is tremendous potential for networking. Business owners love to help other business owners (assuming they're not competing with one another), and building relationships with other small business owners often leads to a steady flow of jobs.
5. Other businesses
Many businesses can point to other businesses as their key to early success. Why? No single business performs every possible service, even if they're in similar fields, and most businesses get calls from potential customers asking for a service they don't perform. For example, a pest control company might not do any wildlife control, or a commercial cleaner might not do any residential cleaning. These are opportunities for such businesses to know you are out there, offering services they don't. When they receive calls asking for a service you perform, those businesses are likely to recommend the customer contact you.
Another reason is that it's very common for customers to ask a service provider they trust for recommendations of a business in another trade. For example, a landscaper might have a customer ask them if they know any good painters. When that happens, you want that business owner to be handing out your business card.
Think outside the box
Business often requires thinking outside the box, especially when you're just getting started. We've covered a handful of ideas, but doing your own research, and a bit of trial and error is really the best way to master marketing your new business. Handing out business cards is a great way to get started. Just remember to use it as an opportunity to make an impression, have a conversation, and get more work.