Small businesses don't have the deep pockets that the larger companies have. The larger companies typically have pretty sizable marketing budgets to play with. They can afford to run "image advertising". This kind of advertising is when a company promotes its brand and creates a mood.
Small businesses must be a lot more aggressive and direct with their advertising dollar. The problem is that owners typically do what the big guys do and run advertising like their neighbors or the big guys. That formula is this--the name of the company, a few benefits, perhaps a picture or two, and a phone number. The message is "ok, here I am...I'm not much different than the next guy but please call so that I can sell you something".
You must make the decision when you go into business that you will differentiate yourself from your competitors and be creative when advertising. Taking the 'road less travelled' means no matter what the communication, you have an attention-grabbing headline, sub-headlines, description, a call to action, a guarantee and a couple ways to contact you.
The problem is that the approach is out of the comfort zone...fewer small business owners go this way because they consider it to be a risk. I can tell you from practical, real-world experience that following the crowd in this case is the biggest risk of all. What's been your experience?