Businesspeople large and small would do well to study and apply standard business promotion practices that have proven successful time and time again.

Both new businesses and old businesses introducing a new product or service are obliged to let people know what they have to offer. No one knows who you are or what you offer until you let him or her know.

Making people aware requires promotion—a multi-media attack including advertising, public relations, TV appearances, benefits, displays, signage, brochures, giveaways, announcements, direct mail campaigns and so on.

The major challenge is always how to get the word out without going deeply into debt—or selling the cow to buy the milk.

Budgeting and selecting the right areas for marketing require research and evaluation. Take the guesswork out. Do some homework.

Entrepreneurs in business tend to be gamblers. We don’t fit into the nine-to-five norm, so we go into business for ourselves and work 7 a.m. to midnight. And it’s all a gamble.

The gamble can be taken out or reduced to a limit of loss, if one is careful and understands that test marketing means just that. Test your ads before you buy an annual run.

Test your brochure before you order ten thousand from the printer.

Test every phase of your advertising and calculate the returns.

Once you have a winning campaign, then roll out all stops and do a bang-up job.

Occasionally, you will need to hire a professional. Use copywriters, publicists, graphic artists, special promotions people, designers and so forth to help you get started.

Keep in mind that marketing, advertising, promotion and public relations do not have to cost a fortune. Start with a small but reasonable budget. Figure a low of 2 percent to a high of 20 percent of expected gross revenues.

There is an old saying: If you don’t advertise your business services and products for sale, you will soon be advertising your business for sale. Unfortunately, during my 30-plus years in business, I have seen the latter come true for many shortsighted businesspeople.

A business needs customers, requires exposure and demands income.

Where is that income going to come from if people don’t know about the service or product a business supplies?

Successful advertising, promoting and public relations require a good, well thought-out plan. Just don’t hock the kid’s education fund to accomplish what may be a wild-haired scheme.

Remember to test your marketing, advertising and promotions.

All advertising, promotions and public relation campaigns contain an element of risk. While every attempt should be made to make them profitable, there are no guarantees.

Like what you’ve read? Buy Jay’s book, Grow Yourself Rich, available for download now.