At about 930pm on Tuesday night, the peace and quiet of HDG Towers was shattered by the flap of the letterbox and a thud as a yellow book arrived.
Of course, the interesting thing is that nowadays the Yellow Pages fits through the letterbox. Claiming it has a new convenient size does not cover up the fact that fewer businesses are advertising in it, so there are fewer pages.
What was particularly fortunate for me was that this was the night before my weekly BNI meeting and a great inspiration for my 60 seconds.
For the members in the room, I would have already been preaching to the converted – the cost of joining BNI is far smaller than a decent ad in the YP and gets far better returns. I also wanted to remind them that after their BNI membership, the next best place to spend their advertising budget was on their website.
A good looking website combined with some social media savvy is far more profitable for a local business than any print advertising. Especially when most people do not use their copy of the YP nowadays. When I was a youngster it was the first place you looked for anything. Today, it goes straight in the recycling bin. At least in the old days, when it was bigger, it made a fairly useful monitor stand. Now it cannot even offer that service.
You just have to look at the 3 pages of computer repair services to see a crowded mess. The small ads make companies look dodgy, the big ads make them look expensive. How are you going to choose a computer repair company from there?
To be fair, we used to advertise our computer repair company in Canterbury Yellow Pages but we got a big discount on a small, but special Buy With Confidence boxed ad. Being the only Trading Standards Approved IT company in Whitstable, we got a little bit of business from it. A tiny amount though, so it was a good thing it was very, very cheap.
Now we, and any other local business, are far more likely to be selected on personal recommendation (hence our BNI membership) or a recommendation through Facebook or Twitter. Which is how I ended my 60 seconds – every small business in Kent needs a website from fairly marvellous!
And with that, I will leave you with memories of happier times, when the YP was relevant…
A Microsoft Certified Professional with many years of large corporate experience and training, he now focuses on helping small businesses make the most of their IT.
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