Small business advertising is the process of informing the public consumer base about a local small business. It may include overall marketing efforts to increase business visibility, or it can involve very specific promotional sales for certain products. Small business advertising is essential for most small businesses, especially newer start-up companies. This is because many small businesses do not yet have a consistent customer base, especially at the beginning of their operations.
Some common routes of advertising for small businesses include:
- Phone book listing ads
- Online advertising
- Handing out business cards
- Membership in a chamber of commerce or local small business association
- Billboards and signs
- Social network promotion
Most small businesses will use a combination of methods in order to increase visibility of their products or services. Also, it is common for small businesses to work in cooperation with other businesses in the area for projects and advertising campaigns.
Like any business activity, small business advertising needs to conform to local, state, and federal laws. Some common advertising violations and legal issues include:
- False advertising (using information that is outright false)
- Deceptive advertising (using information that is partly true)
- Advertising efforts that involve slander or that amount to unfair business practices
- Using illegal marketing tactics, such as illegally obtaining personal information in order to call the person or send them mail
- Various other marketing violations
Penalties for advertising violations may include fines and/or suspensions of business licenses, as well as other consequences. In many cases, a civil lawsuit may also result if the advertising violation caused losses to a consumer or to another business.
Small business advertising often involves an understanding of laws which may be complicated or difficult to deal with. You may need to hire an experienced business attorney if you need help with small business advertising issues. Your attorney can help you with an advertising campaign to ensure that your efforts are in compliance with all business laws and standards for practice. Also, if you are facing any legal issues, your lawyer can help represent you in a court of law.