Big businesses advertise to create name recognition and future sales. A small business can't afford to do that. Instead, design your advertising to produce sales...now. One way to accomplish this is to always include an offer in your advertising - and an easy way for prospective customers to respond to it.
Your customers already know and trust you. It's easier to get more business from them than to get any business from somebody who never bought from you. Take advantage of this by creating some special deals just for your existing customers ...and announce new products and services to them before you announce them to the general market.
Your customers tune out after awhile if you toot only one note. Not only that, YOU get bored. Marketing can be fun, so take advantage of the thousands of opportunities available for communicating your value to customers. But don't be arbitrary about your selection of a variety of marketing ploys. Plan carefully. Get feedback from customers and adapt your efforts accordingly.
Try announcing a special offer when you answer the phone. For example you could say, "Good morning, this is Ann Marie with Check It Out; ask me about my special marketing offer." The caller is compelled to ask about the offer. Sure, many companies have recorded messages that play when you're tied up in a queue, but who do you know that has a live message? I certainly haven't heard of anyone. Make sure your offer is aggressive and increase your caller's urgency by including a not-so-distant expiration date.
Look for some unconventional marketing methods your competitors are overlooking. You may discover some highly profitable ways to generate sales and avoid competition. For example, print your best small ad on a postcard and mail it to prospects in your targeted market. A small ad on a postcard can drive a high volume of traffic to your website or generate a flood of sales leads for a very small cost.