The Black Dog runs circles around your small business advertising strategy

In your small business have you developed a following?  Not just a following on your Twitter account but I mean a following of loyal customers who love what you do? The easiest example of what I’m talking about are those little businesses you find at your favorite beach or vacation area. These are those great little mom and pop restaurants, ice cream shops, or doughnut stands. But, this theory of small business advertising that I’ll outline can apply to your small business as well.

Small Business Advertising the Wrong Way

Lets use the example of The Sugar Shak, a little ice cream shop that you and your kids love to visit while at Rosemary Beach, on the panhandle of Florida.  The Sugar Shak is that obligatory sweets factory ice cream chocoholic licorice addict whipped cream toppery add-fat-to-my-hips-in-5-minutes place and it’s packed with people on a hot summer eve. You’ll notice that inside these type of shops, they always have their own t-shirts for sale. T-shirts are an awesome way to spread your small business name around.  Herein lies the big profit trap that these small businesses fall into>>.

They are in love with their own brand, and thus they set the price for their t-shirts at $25. This is a crucial rookie error.  These businesses believe they are simply being capitalists and charging whatever the market will bear for their t-shirts .  But, they are missing the bigger picture which is to use their t-shirts to advertise their name all over the place.  You see, when you place a price tag of $25 on your t-shirts, only about 5% of the people that would love to buy your shirt will actually do so.  Instead, you should follow the theory of the Black Dog Tavern in Martha’s Vinyard.  If you haven’t seen someone wearing one of their  t-shirts, then you haven’t been out much.

Small Business Advertising the Right Way

In 1971 this tavern opened its doors.  When it came to selling t-shirts, they weren’t trying to sell them for “whatever the market would bear”.  Instead, they were trying to sell them as inexpensively as they could so that EVERYONE would buy one.  Today there are hundreds of thousands of these t-shirts out there. That’s a lot of eyeballs on your brand. Now, whenever anyone visits Martha’s Vinyard, what is the one restaurant that they know they want to go?  

The original Black Dog Tavern

Today, this tavern does sell it’s t-shirts expensively, but after 40 years of nailing this theory of small business advertising, they command that type of power.  You don’t.  What I’m telling you is sell your t-shirts for $11 instead of $25 and just watch how many of them fly out the door. Remember, it’s not about profit with your t-shirt, it’s about eyeballs.

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About Nate Goodman

USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR Nathan Goodman is a freelance fiction writer and the author behind The Special Agent Jana Baker Spy-Thriller Series. "A terrorist on the loose, a country in panic, and time is running out..." FOR A FREE COPY of book one, visit the author's website.