You advertise to get those first clients.

As business owners we are always looking for vehicles to advertise our business. This is especially relevant to start-ups where making contact with potential clients is normally very high on their agenda.

Advertising your business within the ‘media’ seems to be an easy way to attract clients. Media companies can buy lists of new start-ups and will target this audience. Some of these companies will be legitimate Marketing & Advertising businesses with your interests in mind. Others may be legitimate in terms of the HMRC and Companies House but actually don’t carry out what they promise. Then you have the companies that ‘appear’ legitimate and will take your hard earned cash, may make a token effort or may not even do that.

It seems so easy.

Please beware of bogus media companies that will always initially phone you. These people are very persuasive and will often want to tell you about a charity they are connected to i.e. the Emergency Services or charities connected to children, you see they will pull at your heart strings. You may be tempted to place an advert but remember, if you do you will be placed on a list which will be circulated to all the other ‘bogus’ media companies. This then results in many phone calls with some callers saying they have already spoken with you or calling to say they are now invoicing you for the advert you placed, which of course you won’t remember placing, and after threatening you with legal action you may be frightened into paying.

Some friendly advice.

My advice is don’t place any adverts or pay anyone you don’t know or have not met. Don’t give any bank or credit card details, some bogus companies even share this information between themselves. Politely just say ‘ Please don’t call again I’m not interested’ or if you are brave enough just put the phone down. If you get into conversation they will just keep trying while they think there’s a chance. Remember these people are scammers and won’t care at all about you, your feelings, or your business. There are many stories on the internet of how people in business have been scammed in this way.

If you feel you have been the victim of some fraudulent activity then the Police have set up a National Fraud and Internet Crime Reporting Centre

Because the fraud quite often will take place outside the victim’s geographical area this helps the Police see the national picture without the local forces having to communicate between themselves, which can be ‘hit and miss’, and the link is missed.

If you want to use the ‘media’ to advertise then I would suggest please only use people you know, like and trust. It’s a mantra that should keep you safer.

Hope this helps.