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How do I advertise and promote my small business, do you have any tips?

i’m 13 and in middle school. I have a babysitting, animal sitting , and dog walking.

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Moataz’s Answer

It's truly inspiring to see you kickstarting your own small business at such a tender age! Here's a handful of advice on how to effectively market your babysitting, pet sitting, and dog walking services:

Craft Attention-Grabbing Flyers:

Design straightforward yet vibrant flyers that distinctly highlight your services.
Incorporate your contact details, the services you provide, and any exclusive deals or discounts.
Use lively images to draw people's interest.
Spread Your Flyers Locally:

Seek permission to display your flyers on community notice boards in nearby businesses, educational institutions, and libraries.
Distribute flyers to your neighbors, friends, and family.
Leverage Social Media:

Set up social media profiles (with your parents' consent) on platforms such as Instagram or Facebook.
Post about your services, accompanied by enticing pictures of delighted pets or gratified clients.
Encourage your friends and family to share your posts to boost visibility.
Establish a Basic Website:

Create a rudimentary website or blog using platforms like Wix, Weebly, or WordPress.
Incorporate details about your services, pricing, and contact information.
Promote the link on your social media profiles.
Connect within Your Community:

Participate in local community gatherings, fairs, or markets to connect with potential clients.
Form alliances with local businesses or pet stores for mutual promotion.
Encourage Referrals:

Motivate satisfied clients to recommend your services to their acquaintances, relatives, and neighbors.
Think about offering a discount or a small incentive for referrals.
Run Exclusive Promotions:

Offer promotions or discounts for first-time clients or bundle deals (e.g., discounts for regular dog walking services).
Think about seasonal promotions, like holiday deals or summer specials.
Collect Testimonials:

Request gratified clients if they'd be willing to provide testimonials.
Showcase these testimonials on your flyers, website, or social media to establish credibility.
Design Business Cards:

Create professional business cards featuring your name, contact details, and a brief overview of your services.
Always carry a few cards with you to hand out when you encounter potential clients.
Foster Trust:

Highlight your sense of responsibility, dependability, and genuine affection for animals and children.
Consider getting basic first aid certification for both babysitting and pet care to instill trust in your clients.
Always prioritize safety and adhere to any legal prerequisites for young entrepreneurs in your region. With perseverance, innovation, and exceptional service, you can effectively market and expand your small business. Best of luck!
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Sebastián’s Answer

Hi Lillian! I'm thrilled to assist you. Social media is a great tool at your disposal right now. Just remember to be very cautious about what personal details you share and avoid disclosing any sensitive information. However, it's a great platform to showcase your skills in babysitting and your love for pet care. If you're 13, you can also tap into your parents' network of friends and family to spread the word about your new venture. Remember to keep things simple and balance this with your schoolwork. It's crucial to allocate specific hours for your income-generating business and your education. Once you start earning a bit of money, don't hesitate to put some of it back into your business, even if it's a small amount. This could help improve your services or the tools you use to serve your customers. When communicating, try to understand what your customers want. Are they looking for affordable options? Or are they more interested in reliable and trustworthy services? You can find helpful tips online for effective communication and sales pitches. I hope this advice helps!
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Nick’s Answer

One way to potentially grow your client base is to ask for referrals from your existing clients - see if they have friends or family that they might be willing to refer your businesses to. If Person A is thrilled with your babysitting and is willing to provide a testimonial / make a recommendation to Person B (and Person A is someone that Person B trusts), then that increases your odds of gaining a new client.

Something else you may want to consider is whether there's a "referral bonus" you can offer your existing clients to drive that behavior - maybe if someone you dogwalk for connects you with a new client, you offer your existing client a discount on the next walk, etc.

Congratulations on running a handful of businesses - wishing you continued success!
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Shadae’s Answer

Hi Lillian,

It is great that you are ruining a small business and impressive that you are looking to advertise and grow.

The comments prior to all contains really great suggestions, I would encourage you to write them all down along with their potential results, see where each align with your desired results and business goals. Then you can select the best strategy for your business.

Do research, in order to ensure your efforts are concentrated on your target market. Your parents/family/friends might have plenty of acquaintances with younger ones who can benefit from your services, but they may reside well outside your "service area" so no need to pay attention there.

Wishing you all the very best.
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Byron’s Answer

My experience is that in many neighborhoods, the mom's have some type of group messaging (text, Facebook, Nextdoor, etc.) where they share advice, etc. I suggest asking one of the families you work with if the mom can put in a good word for you on their group messaging.
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Troy’s Answer

You're incredibly intelligent, and it's truly inspiring to see such dedication to work at such a tender age. When it comes to pet sitting and dog walking, it would be a great idea to collaborate with your parents to create an eye-catching poster. This could be both a digital and a printed version, showcasing your services, the areas you're available to work in, your charges, and how potential clients can reach out to you, perhaps through an email address or a social media account. You could then visit local pet stores with your parents and see if they'd allow you to display your poster. Always remember to involve your parents in all your dealings to ensure everything runs smoothly and safely. Congratulations on your initiative and best of luck on this exciting journey!
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Olivia’s Answer

First amazing job on starting a business so young! There are many ways you can advertise your small business. You can create a fun poster that you bring to your local church if you have one, if you go to a dentist or doctor I would talk to them about putting your information in their office. If your parents have Facebook they can post about it or maybe even start a Facebook page for your business. Word of mouth is also a great way to get word around about your business. If you already have some clients let them know you are looking to expand and if they know anyone to have them reach out to you!
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Mary Ann’s Answer

Hi Lillian,
I love that you have your own business. You can promote your business by talking to neighbors and friends of your family. Maybe you create a flyer with details about your business that you can hand out. Let them know more about the services you provide and your experience babysitting, walking dogs, and pet sitting. Let people know what age children you are prepared to babysit and how many. Maybe you only watch kids that are older than 3 years old and you only watch a maximum of 2 kids at a time. It's important for parents to know this information. The same advice applies to pet sitting and dog walking. Let people know how many dogs you will be walking at the same time. Also, if there's any requirements like, dogs must already be trained to walk on a leash, let people know that. And then of course, you will want to let people know how much you charge for your services.

If you belong to a religious group like a church, synagogue or temple, there might be a newsletter or bulletin board where you can promote your business as well. Be sure to work closely with your parents as you promote your business and find new clients. And remember, it's okay to say, "Thank you for your interest, but I'm not taking on new clients right now". You don't always need to say "yes" when someone wants to hire you.

Goodluck!
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Senequa’s Answer

It's truly fantastic that you're running your own business!

One piece of advice I'd strongly suggest is to begin with your local community. Engage with your local government and explore opportunities to participate in the next town fair or local event. This could be a great chance to set up a booth and promote your business. Be ready with some eye-catching flyers and consider offering a special bonus for those who visit your booth on that day! Remember, the key is to keep it enjoyable and engaging!

Additionally, why not reach out to art schools in your vicinity? You might find talented students who can create some unique flyers for your business!

Furthermore, consider joining local social media groups and, if permissible, promote your business there. Word of mouth is an invaluable tool, and getting people talking about your business locally can lead to incredible results. From this local base, you can then expand to other cities and even statewide, maintaining the momentum!

Above all, remember to enjoy the process! Your passion and enthusiasm will surely shine through and contribute to your success!
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Debra’s Answer

It's great that you have started your own business! In addition to talking with neighbors and friends, you might try posting a notice at your local grocery store and/or on a community site like nextdoor.com. Referrals from your existing customers are always great, too--don't be afraid to ask for them. Keep up the great work!
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