Don't know what your business is exactly but with me:
I've had luck with craigslist, but be warned, type type of customer who goes through craigs list for my trade tends to not want to spend a lot of money. Prepare to hustle.
I have a listing in the yellow pages, but I don't think I'm going to renew it, since it's $400 per year and I'm not having any results. yp.com will give you a free listing, but be prepared for them to call you about a week later wanting to sell you the "subscription listing".
I have my website and I have loaded it up with keywords. If you write a website, use a lot of words on your first page that google will pick up on, things that will draw customers in. Don't bother with meta keywords in the html. I don't think search engines even go by that anymore.
And of course, there is just plain old door to door cold calling. You burn a lot of gas, and it takes a while, but if you like long country rides, it can actually be a good way to spend a slow day! My wife and I will do this during a slump, we'll stop, have lunch, visit a few stores, and just make a day of it.
Oh, one more thing, put a nice magnet on both sides of your truck. I have had people stop me on occasion and inquire about services. When you park at a store, try to park in a way where the magnets are visible. It's free advertising. I had one guy just last week actually wait 20 minutes for me to come out of walmart and ask me if I'd look at his refrigerator, just because he saw my magnets.
If you are talking to anyone, and business comes up, hand them a business card. Always keep cards in your wallet at all time.
Last edited by moon_shadow; 02-13-2013 at 05:12 AM.
Reason: wanted to add something
Door to Door works great for me also.
I have the magnets on my truck and also I put business card sized ones on the tailgate with "Please take one", had a couple of calls from them
We have a local sign shop near me that make and sells flags, signs, and magnetic advertising. Their catch phrase on their business card is "No One Throws Away a Magnet". I think that it must be true since I have magnetic business cards from when I was just a weee little lad. Excellent idea to drum up business.