The following article is something I hope to have become a regular part of this site. I’ll be conducting brief interviews with small business owners, trying to find some insight into how they’re using the Internet to help their business succeed.
This first Success Story is with Bill Leikam. Bill is the president of Leikam Enterprises, which produces the Oven Claw.
What is your business doing online that has been successful?
Getting the word out that we (www.ovenclaw.com) exist through many of the traditional means such as press releases and media that found us and did interviews. For many companies, getting oneself out into the open so that people recognize their presence can be problematic. We sometimes feel as though we are at the bottom of an ocean of products and so our strategy needs to go beyond the usual.
Ed: I see the Ovenclaw has been featured in Business Week online, which appears to have led to mentions at a number of other sites, including Business Opportunities Weblog and Nice Geek. Makes for some nice links and publicity.
How did you create/pursue this marketing strategy?
It was just common know-how.
Did you hire help or read a particular website?
At first we did neither. However, it soon became clear that just press releases and the occasional media interviews were not going to be enough. With that I hired Continents Apart to get our product into as many online stores as possible. That led us to be on well over 100 websites but over the period of a year, this strategy made very little difference in sales. (BTW, that was not the fault of Steven at Continents Apart. He did a good job for us.)
Are there any ideas for marketing online that you are watching or testing right now?
No. I’ve tried watching and reading email marketing, etc. but never followed through.
Are there any online services/apps that have been valuable for your business? How do they help you?
I wouldn’t say valuable but we are plugged in to social media and that has helped but it’s erratic.
(You can find Oven Claw on Facebook here).
How would your business be different if the Internet did not exist?
If the Internet didn’t exist I seriously doubt whether I would have ever decided to go forward with my idea, patent, business, etc. The internet makes it possible for people like me to take chances and see whether or not my company can be successful.
Any other thoughts?
I need to continue to get our product and our company known so that we become a household name. That’s going to take a marketing strategy that builds on top of the traditional and goes outside the box. We’ve begun to do just that.
I’d like to thank Bill for participating in this first Success Story Saturday. He’s a great example of the type of company that has not only benefited from change, but wouldn’t exist without it.
If you think your company would be a good fit for one of these interviews, please get in touch.