One of the first things you do when starting a business is to have business cards made up. The next thing you need to do is give them out. If you keep them in the card holders or the box in your office, they are not doing what you got them for.
You should send a card out with any correspondence you send. You should tell all your friends and family what you are doing. Give them a bunch of cards to give to others.
Do you go to a dry cleaner? A special car repair place? What about the grocery store, do you like to go to a particular checker? All of these people should have your business card, and know what you do.
One of the first things we tell our PFYS students to do is to get their name out there. We tell them to get cards made up and give them out to everyone. With lease purchasing we emphasize that we offer referral fees. For example, we gave cards (a bunch of them) to our video store. We told the owner that if we do a deal with someone who got the card from his store he would get 10% of whatever the assignment fee was. Well, guess what, he received a $500 check he wasn't expecting. Well you can imagine his surprise and shock when we dropped it off. He was ecstatic, and told everyone and we mean everyone about us! In fact this particular owner received numerous checks from us.
Remember, for those of you in creative real estate, or wanting to get into real estate we show you how to do this as a business. This avoids you always having to look for the deals, we show you how to get the deals to come to you.
So even if you are not doing creative real estate, think about a way you can set up a referral program. For example,let's say you do manicures. Give your cards out to a hair salon and tell that owner that for everyone she/he sends you, you will pay a $10 referral fee; and will recommend their salon for haircuts. Or you could both work together and give discounts to each others' customers. There are a number of scenarios that could work for a salon and manicurist.
Use your imagination, and you can come up with many different ways to work with others and have them promote your business.
Just don't forget your business cards do you no good sitting in your office. You need to give them out EVERYWHERE.