How can small and smaller businesses market themselves?

While Bredemarket sends its solicitations to a (targeted) group of businesses, Bredemarket itself receives solicitations from other businesses. However, sometimes it seems that the solicitations that I receive aren’t targeted that well.

(Of course, perhaps some of the recipients of my solicitations would claim that my targeting attempts are also deficient, so I should watch out about casting stones.)

If you ignore the completely off-the-wall solicitations that I receive, some of the more serious solicitations just do not match Bredemarket’s needs.

For example, I’ve received at least one pitch from a company that offers to provide all of the human resources services that Bredemarket needs for a low monthly fee.

By Alan Cleaver from Whitehaven, United Kingdom – Interview, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=57309901

A fine service to be sure…but since Bredemarket is a sole proprietorship that doesn’t engage other people as either employees or subcontractors, a human resources service would be overkill.

The United States Small Business Administration (SBA) defines a “small business” as a company with fewer than 1,500 employees and an average of $38.5 million in average annual receipts. My one-person company certainly has fewer than 1,500 employees, and I’m probably not revealing any confidential information when I say that Bredemarket’s average annual receipts are less than $38.5 million.

So I guess Bredemarket is a “very” small business.

But there are even smaller businesses.

Nano-small businesses of the past

Just to put things into perspective, Bredemarket has a city business license, has filed a fictitious business name statement with San Bernardino County, has a published address at which it receives mail, has received an Employer Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and files quarterly estimated taxes with both the IRS and California’s Franchise Tax Board.

Years ago, I operated a much smaller business that didn’t have any of those things.

Specifically, I was a paperboy.

Several decades before my time, but you get the drift. By Ruddy, Marjorie Georgina (1908-1980) – Whitby Public Library, Reference No. ruddymg_050_002, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4548723

Way back in the Dark Ages (before the Kardashian/Jenner women became famous independent of O.J. Simpson), newspapers were delivered by people under the age of 18. These days, the few physical newspaper deliveries that I see are performed by adults driving cars and throwing papers out the window. Former papergirl Molly Snyder explains the shift:

The shift in carriers’ age was due partly to the disappearance of evening newspapers that provided student-friendly delivery times. The accessibility of internet news, growing concerns for the safety of un-escorted kids, and new distribution procedures also affected the change.

“To remain profitable, we phased out the ‘neighborhood shacks’ and home drop offs and migrated to larger distribution centers dealing solely with adult distributors,” said Ronald Zinda, distribution supervisor for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel of 45 years.

Nano-small businesses of the present

Even with the disappearance of paperpeople, there are a number of jobs today that fly under the radar of the Internal Revenue Service, city business license departments, and other government regulatory bodies. Here are a few examples; while some of these types of business may actually comply with government reporting requirements, many of them don’t.

By Nalbarian – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=95136303
  • The person on the street corner selling fruit treats.
  • The person on the street corner selling flowers.
  • The teenager who comes up to your door selling candy for a school club, a sports team, or as part of a supposed program to keep kids out of trouble by having them walk around neighborhoods and sell stuff after dark.
  • The person who sells homemade crafts.

Bredemarket can’t really serve these nano-small businesses. When your products (fruit treats, flowers, or whatever) only cost a few dollars, you’re not going to pay Bredemarket hundreds of dollars to create content for your website or social media outlet. In fact, you probably don’t even HAVE a website or a social media outlet.

Which businesses NEED Bredemarket’s services?

Let’s move up a step and look at small businesses that have an established online identity, do their best to comply with business requirements, and meet the IRS definition of a (non-hobby) ongoing concern.

Now any of those businesses COULD use Bredemarket’s services…but many of them don’t NEED Bredemarket. A number of small businesses are doing just fine in meeting their business goals, and are perfectly capable of taking care of the written communications necessary to keep the business profitable.

But what about the businesses that have particular goals that they can’t meet? Specifically, what about businesses that need targeted, regular online content to make customers aware of the business, but the business owners don’t have the time (or the inclination) to create the necessary online content?

By Unknown author – postcard, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7691878

If you own a business and need a consultant to help you create online content for your website, your Facebook or LinkedIn page, or for another communication method (even paper), Bredemarket can help. My “What I Do” page lists the types of written content that I can create for your business, including both short length (400-600 word) and medium length (2800-3200 word) content. (No, I don’t author individual tweets, but I guess I could author a thread if you like.)

If you’re interested in using my marketing and writing services, talk to me. I can collaborate with you to ensure that your business goals are met and your business messages are disseminated.

COVID is no longer profitable (for a few, anyway)

In the spring of 2000, the COVID-19 crisis brought vast changes to economies throughout the world. Some businesses completely ground to a halt, such as sporting events, while a number of new businesses sprang up.

Now that COVID is (hopefully) receding, some of those newer businesses are fading away.

Take Maskalike – please!

https://maskalike.com/ as of June 29, 2021.

Before COVID hit, you generally only saw people wearing masks in operating rooms, unless you visited Disneyland and saw Asian visitors walking around with masks. All of a sudden EVERYONE was wearing masks, and you had people getting creative in their design. Maskalike’s gimmick was to create masks that looked just like the portion of your face that was being covered by the mask.

But Maskalike is closing down in a few short days.

It’s been an amazing run bringing thousands of smiles to people, but this project was always supposed to be temporary and we’re getting busy with new ideas. If you have any questions, or want to acquire this company, get in touch. Otherwise, get your order in!

Let’s face it: people aren’t going to be buying a lot of masks any more. In fact, I’m sure that some people never want to see a face mask ever again.

Perhaps some novelty company will buy Maskalike and include it in its catalog, along with other gimmicky things.

If not, it was good while it lasted.

And I’m still keeping my Rodrigo’s mask that I won on Instagram, even though I have no idea where I’m going to wear it.