Small Business Marketing

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One of the most important aspects of running a business is marketing; this means knowing how to create a brand, how to promote your business and how to attract customers or investors. Large companies have the advantage of disposing of larger funds and therefore affording to hire marketing consulting firms to help them. In what follows we are going to discuss small business marketing and show small business owners what their options are in this respect.

To begin with, you don’t need a lot of money and you don’t need marketing consultants in order to deal with this aspect of your business. There are many tools and resources out there that you can access for free or with little money; for example, you can look into marketing collaborations, thus splitting the time, money and resources to achieve your ideals. This means finding a business just like yours, that is similar to yours or that is complementary to yours, thus making it advantageous for the both or all of you to work together in this endeavor. One of the most important parts of small business marketing is attracting new customers, but it can also be one of the most difficult for start-up businesses.

One example of successful marketing collaboration is working together with another business to create a product, or a complementary products which recommend each other; thus, you have one target but two products, so your chances of getting a customer are higher. With such small business marketing, two different brands recommend and promote each other, and their value increases simply by associating their names with each other. The advantage is that your small business will reach a new market, a new target and you reach farther. All this on a common budget that allows both businesses to expand without depleting their accounts and reaching insolvency before results start to show.

Here are some ideas to help you with small business marketing, whether it is collaborative or not:

  • Strategy – First, you must decide how you want to expand your business; do you want to create a brand or do you already have one? Do you want to attract more customers, to reach new target markets? Do you want to associate your own brand with another one? In order to create a brand you must have a clear idea of what your business represents and where it is aiming at; you may need a consultant, or at least an artist to help you come up with a logo or some imagery that makes your brand recognizable to others. If you want to reach more customers, then you need to promote and advertise; set up an official website, provide online services, get in on social networking, put up ads and campaigns. This requires a lot of money, which is why small businesses can benefit from collaborating with someone like them; however, the difficulty lies in finding a business interested in collaborating with you and which has similar interests.
  • Know your customer – If you own a small business, then you are directly connected with your customers, or at least very close by. You may not be the actual seller, but you should still maintain some kind of relationship with your customers. Set up a quiz on your website, or put a suggestion box in the shop. Ask your clients how they feel about the services, what they would like improved or changed and so on. This will give you valuable feedback and show you which direction to take. In case of collaboration, find out what other brands your customers take to; this will give you an idea as to what other brands you might associate your own with.
  • Keep your identity – Even if you collaborate or not, maintaining your identity is essential to keeping your hard-gained customers. If suddenly you have the funds and opportunity to invest in your marketing strategies, make sure you don’t become estranged from what made you a success in the first place. You can try to offer something new, to create some prize competitions for your customers, to invest in advertising and image. If you began with the image of a family-owned business, or a family-oriented business, don’t lose that identity; you may add to it, but never lose sight of what made you popular in the first place, otherwise your customers will start looking for something else.

Thus, if you are interested in small business marketing, take these things into consideration before you take action. It doesn’t matter what kind of business you run – whether you sell food, clothes, accessories, makeup, services, tools or supplies -, the above rules still apply.

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