Creative ways to distrubute flyers and laws against them.
January 14, 2008 12:59 PM   Subscribe

I want to start up my own computer repair business on the site. What are some creative ways to distribute flyers? Also does anyone know if there are laws against distributing them in a certain way?
posted by deadparrot to Law & Government (11 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
You can not put them in US mailboxes.
posted by Ferrari328 at 1:04 PM on January 14, 2008

Have a good long think about whether you want to go the flyers route.

When I started, all I did was print business cards. I'd leave five or six of them behind when I did a job, and ask the customer to give them to other people if they were happy with the work I'd done.

The business builds more slowly this way than it would with a mass advertising campaign, but you get much better customers.
posted by flabdablet at 1:05 PM on January 14, 2008 [3 favorites]

The intersection between "People who need computer repairs done" and "People who have time to read every crappy flier that comes by" is exactly zero.

Do not waste your time with fliers.
posted by unixrat at 1:08 PM on January 14, 2008

i agree. flyers don't say "respectable business" to me.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 1:18 PM on January 14, 2008

Your profile gives no indication of your whereabouts but here in the UK my SO had much better success with A4 (and sometimes A5) posters in local stores (newsagent, supermarket, barbers, etc.). This was especially good in stores selling the equipment for the subject he teaches. Some charge a small weekly fee, others not but we found it much more cost effective than advertising (at astonishingly high rates) in the local newspaper. There was not even much response when the paper published two positive articles about him and his work that included contact details.
posted by ceri richard at 1:24 PM on January 14, 2008

I'm going to 4th the "dont do flyers' opinion.

I agree with Flabdablet,... doing good work and leaving well designed business cards behind are probably much more effective than flyers. Start/Expand your business by making REAL connections such as talking to friends and family, and people that you know. Hand out business cards, tell them you are trying to expand your business. You might also contact some local businesses and custom-design some flyers specifically for their needs, (and deliver them in person).. but I wouldnt do a mass flyer campaign. All you'll get is cheap home-uers who will waste your time and not want to pay.
posted by jmnugent at 1:37 PM on January 14, 2008

Leaving the appropriateness of flyers aside: Tuck them into "Computer Repair for Dummies" at the local bookstore.
posted by crickets at 2:03 PM on January 14, 2008 [1 favorite]

When I owned an SMB consultancy, I found it more effective (both in terms of cost/benefit and quality of clientele) to work up a portfolio -- a nice glossy folder with my logo, containing promotional material highlighting capabilities, business cases, testimonials and business cards -- and knock on doors in office parks and office buildings distributing them and asking to speak with the appropriate person about their IT situation. I was targeting companies which were too small to justify an onsite IT person, but too large to support themselves. Sure it was cold calling but I never got a door slammed in my face. It was surprisngly fun if you have the head for it.

I got a lot of good clients that way -- some of which hired me for a job on the spot, and many of which called weeks or even months later. They paid check on the barrelhead or in advance as an hourly rate, so I had no collection problems. Most became repeat customers, a number of them gave me referral business.

On the other hand, flyers never worked. Very early on, I spent an entire week putting up the tearsheets you find on supermarket bulletin boards...I put them in stores, community centers, libraries, supermarkets, etc. I got ONE phone call from that effort, and no repeat business. Don't waste your time.

Email is in profile if you'd like to chat.
posted by edverb at 4:33 PM on January 14, 2008

Flyers are the paper equivalent of spam, I'd boycott the business out of spite.
posted by hungrysquirrels at 4:52 PM on January 14, 2008

My policy is that any flyer I find under my wiper blade purposely does not get read but gets crumpled immediately. Oh, and all the while I fanatasize printing a million of them and dropping them all over the flyer-maker's car.

Any flyer that gets handed to me ... well ... as Mitch Hedberg says, it's like the guy is saying, "Here, YOU throw this away."
posted by lpsguy at 6:47 AM on January 15, 2008

In some places (certainly many large parking lots) it's illegal to leave fliers under the windshield wipers. And when I find a flier under on my window, if it's a service I might conceivably want, I make a mental note of that business so I can make sure to NEVER do business with them.

If I were going put up some fliers I'd do it on college campus bulletin boards.
posted by Four Flavors at 5:16 PM on January 15, 2008

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