In days past the two areas that could contribute to new business was to advertise in local print & the natural new business that occurred from from word of mouth recommendations.
Getting an advert into a local rag is a simple affair; simply phone up the paper and ask the prices for the the size you want, instruct the sales department or editor to display business name, phone number sand that' s about it..
Local papers for instance the Newtonnews In North East England, covering Newton Aycliffe are published weekly, so if you want continued exposure then you are going to have to pay weekly or arrange discount for a long term advertising campaign.
An advertising space for a tradesmen comes in different prices depending on size; a 7cm by 3cm rectangular box advert costs circa 18 pounds ;if you then extrapolate this on the basis you want your advert to be seen each week then your looking at £932 a year.
If you look in the latest edition of the Newtonnews (formerly the Newtonian) under plumbers you will see around 10 adverts; I don''t know if the plumbers realize but for a prospective client there is nothing to distinguish between the adverts to tell you that one plumber is sloppy, never cleans up the mess left after the job is finished or never goes the "extra mile".
The other thing about advertising in a local rag is the circulation; the Newtonnews doesn't cover Darlington just 15 minutes down the road nor Bishop Auckland. I the writer was a contractor for over 18 years and I would definitely drive even 45 minutes or more if it was worth my while and I currently did not have any work .
Now with a website not only is it giving a contractor based in newton Aycliffe a 24/7 presence but also prospective clients in Tindale Crescent, Bishop Auckland , Darlington and even one horse towns like Shildon can access the website .If a tradesman or SME wanted to cover a geographical area such as the above it would be quite expensive to place adverts in every paper.
If you pride yourself on quality of work a website gives you the opportunity of standing out from the bog standard ones, how?Well a blog facility on a web gives a small business the opportunity to show their expertise by describing how they solved a problem, maybe where another contractor couldn't , how it was solved and still at a fair price. Everybody likes value for money. Via a blog there is the opportunity to engage with prospective clients through a blog comments form, where a small business can answer questions .
There is a synergy between a website and social media presence where you can build up likes and post links that back-link to your blog posts . All in all if you can cannily make use of a web and social media it will give your l business a much wider coverage than traditional media advertising could ever do at costs often less on an than annual basis of newspaper ads.
Costs are relative to you in the sense that time is money and if you take up a webmasters time by being excessively picky, not being able to produce suitable digital photographs and so on it will cost more. Also are you a bit of a nerd yourself and want access to the hosting Cpanel or just content with doing blogs directly via your website?
The main tasks for a webmaster are to produce the static pages that will not change and don''t have any processing code like "About Us". Sitemaps have to be done,, inform Google about them, verify the site;maybe help with registration on social media and other small tasks.
After that its down to the business to produce a series of blogs. Is this difficult? No for a simple blog like the one your looking at its just a case of setting out content in a Word-processing doing a , spell check. Then its just a case of accessing a single web page one logged in that has a text box for title ,another for main content and a browser button to upload a picture. The website is pre-coded to put the content in the right place ,margin between text and photograph and a URL using the title .Titles are automatically listed on the page shown when you click on the blog item of menu and clicking on any title takes you to the blog article. Its as simple as that.
Assuming you are OK with the general layout of my web your looking at then a website for a small business including hosting can be done circa £500 pounds per year. Thus compared to Newspaper advertising its actually quite competitive and your getting more for your money.