Taking the next step

In October last year, I gave up a secure, full-time job to start up a business for a friend. The attraction of the new business was that I would be able to work from home so that I could look after my baby. I’d gone back to work when Libby was only just 3 months old and it tore me apart. When I was offered a job that would allow me to be with her, I couldn’t turn it down.

Our business is www.winmyholidayhome.com.  It is a lowest unique bid auction website where people can bid to win a holiday home. The website is up and running and we have just run our first competition. This closed last night and we gave away a trip to Paris for two people. The winner is delighted and we will be putting their photograph on our website in a few days. Sadly though, the first competition didn’t make a profit. In fact, very few people entered, we had less than 100 bids in total.

We are changing the format for the next auction, everybody’s first entry will be free. The idea is that people pay £1 for every further bid they place. This would be how the business makes a profit. It is our intention to give 10% of our profits to a fabulous charity called Maternity Worldwide… that’s if we ever make any profit.

We have decided to give the website a further three months, after which we will decide whether it shows the potential to be a viable business. This is why I hope beyond hope that somebody might be able to help me with some marketing advice. I have a budget of around £1000 per month for marketing / advertising. I work full time on this and I am learning the ropes of social media day by day. I would love it if somebody could give me some advice on the best way to market our business to the right people.

I feel that we have issues around people trusting us and believing that it’s not a scam. I have had some great advice through my blog already, particularly from +Jake Dyson and I hope that someone might be able to point me in the right direction regarding submitting press releases. I have never done anything like this before and I think this might be the best way to go, alongside use of social media as Jake has recommended. My questions are:
  • ·    What sort of person would be likely to be interested in this sort of competition and what publications would they read? How can I find this out?
  • ·    How do I submit a press release and what information should it contain?
  • ·    Is this the best way to go or would adverts be more effective?
Thank you so much for reading and I would be so grateful for any comments. I would dearly love to make this business work both to repay the trust my friend has placed in me by employing me and to allow me to continue in this amazing job that allows me to spend time with my daughter. 

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