So your phone isn't ringing, and you want a quick fix. These steps will make people call, perhaps not with cherry jobs, but with jobs that keep cash flowing. Then, when the cherries come, you'll be in business to capitalize on them.

* Determine your budget. If you can't find a few thousand dollars for a campaign, your cash flow will sink you anyway.

* Develop an ideal-for-now job around what's popular. Ask the pro desk at the DIY warehouse about what projects consumers are buying materials for. Visit your permitting authority. Thumb through six months of permits. These two sources will help pinpoint what's selling.

* Develop shopper/coupon book ads. Negotiate the best deal with shopper's guides.

* Create ads that speak to that ideal-for-now job. Run ads in weekly papers. Local readers read weeklies faithfully. Ads in them are relatively cheap.

* Develop a direct marketing postcard that speaks to your ideal-for-now job. Print enough for mailings over the next few months. Consider that "more is better" -- in other words, cards are cheaper the more you print and the more you mail (via business class bulk mail).

* Put your message in front of as many prospects as you can, then you're in your potential client's face as often as twice a month.

Remember, this shouldn't eliminate any branding efforts or other marketing components key to winning business over time. --Stephen Wilson is a partner in Biz-comm Inc., a marketing/communications firm specializing in the needs of remodelers, [email protected].