The most important thing you do for your business is to market it, and market it well. Marketing gets your name out there to people who want to purchase your goods and services. Marketing is how your business makes money.
Businesses which are successful at marketing have a few marketing strategies in common. Here are ten tips from successful businesses to help you market your own small business well:
Tip 1 – Marketing Plan. Just as your small business needs a business plan, it needs a marketing plan. A marketing plan is simply a guide for how you will market your business. Create a short-term plan for this next year, and then a long-term plan looking at the next three to five years. Follow your plan, modify it for what works, and track your successes and failures.
Tip 2 – Market in a Variety of Ways. No two businesses are identical. No two marketing plans should be either. You will want to market your business in a variety of ways to find those which work best for your particular small business. You may want to do print advertising, a bulk mailing, telemarketing, booth at the local fair, tradeshow, etc…
Tip 3 – Make a Newsletter. Consider making a newsletter or other mailing for your customers. Your mailing could contain special sales, a coupon, and any exciting news about your company. Keeping your newsletter to one page will allow you to put a copy in all of your out-going mail.
Tip 4 – Joint Venture Advertising. Consider joining forces with another small business in your area and advertising together. You could split the cost in half and still have the benefit of the advertising. By forming a joint venture you also show your customers and local citizens that you care about the success of other local businesses.
Tip 5 – Make a Coupon or Hold a Special Sale. Marketing to the frugal folks can pay off big for your business. Offering a coupon or special sale will bring in new customers to your business. Everyone wants to free like they are getting a bargain so use a coupon or sale to show your customers what a great bargain they can get with your business. Wow them with your customer service and they will be back again to pay full price.
Tip 6 – Have an Open House. Have you ever stopped in at a new business because they were having an event and you had always wanted to stop-by but never had a real reason to? Having an open house, or open door event, can be great to draw in people and give them an excuse to try you out.
Tip 7 – Website. Your small business needs a website. A website does not have to be fancy, but your business shows a lot more credibility and professionalism when it has one. Whether or not you build your own site, your business needs a website.
Tip 8 – Be Consistent. People are creatures of habit. Your customers want to know that your business provides a consistent level of service and products. While changing things up a bit from time to time is fine, make sure you remain consistent in ways that matter such as customer service quality, product quality, and the messages your company sends out into the world.
Tip 9 – Maintain Your Focus. You developed a marketing plan as your roadmap. Now follow that plan and keep your focus on what matters and what is working for your business.
Tip 10 – Customer Service. The customer is not always right, but they need to feel like they are. Excellent customer service will provide you with the best marketing around – word-of-mouth referrals!