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By Fred Barnes


Every on-premise licensee is confronted with the problem of how to advertise to the community, the unique things that their business brings to the table. In these difficult economic times, it is more important than ever to keep your customers aware of the products, menu, special events and services you can provide. It has been observed that if you sell nickel beers and no one knows the promotion will fail.

The newest responsibility that the on-premise licensee must face is how and where to merchandize their establishments. Cost is a factor to be considered. Getting the biggest bang for your buck is the ultimate goal. In this highly technical world, new means of communication must be explored.

The print media, namely newspapers and magazines, are on a readership decline. Radio and television advertising may be effective but is usually cost prohibited.

The Internet and the worldwide web have changed the way we do business and are a main source of how we communicate. Today, more and more people are utilizing the Internet to receive the news, manage their investments, do their research, stay in touch with friends and relatives and sell their services and products. Creating a captivating website and capturing e-mail addresses from customers, can build a database of continuing patron support. Staying in front of potential customers is the key to new and repeat business.

Networking which means making connection with people, is probably the most important thing you can do to achieve success. Networking parties have become very popular throughout the country. Many County Chambers of Commerce and other community oriented organizations hold periodic business card networking parties. These types of gatherings can benefit your business in several ways. If you have the room, you can offer to hold a networking party in your place of business. This provides an opportunity to introduce your establishment and your cuisine to a new and more business related audience. It is also an opportunity to meet and greet your local business community.

Many times local business people are also elected town officials. Meeting them in an informal setting, gives you the opportunity to educate them about the alcoholic beverage industry and the problems confronting the hospitality industry.

There are social networking websites, such as Facebook, and My Space that allow you to continually network with customers. By encouraging your customers to share your promotions with family, friends, neighbors and co-workers create more exposure for your establishment and also build your database. By joining one of the constant alert websites, you can, with the push of a button, send your message to thousands of potential customers without any cost to you.

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