Money can be tight if you run a small business. Most of your funds will be allocated to establishing your brand and managing internal operations, so you’ll need to use your imagination to make it. Where to start?
For many business owners, marketing doesn’t come naturally. If they don’t have a marketing agency onboard, they stagger from one tactic to another without a clear idea how to measure the return on their investment.
While word of mouth marketing can be a slow spread, limited audience, and potential negative feedback, it should definitely be included as a well-crafted component of your marketing strategy.
Here are some time-tested, low cost techniques to improve your marketing and help you reach your goals.
Did you know that it’s typically five times as expensive to make a sale to a new customer as it is to an existing one? So make sure you’re not neglecting the people who already know and trust you.
You could take your best customers out to dinner or tennis and use the opportunity to ask them about how to improve your business. You could also personally write to your top 10 customers to thank them and tell them they’re part of your new loyalty program or invite them to sneak preview of your latest product.
The first step in developing a marketing plan is to understand who your target customers are, what they want and search for before you attempt to target them. If you don’t know who will benefit from your products or services, how will you know the best way to market what you have to offer? A good way to gather this information is to conduct a survey about your products or services.
The Internet provides you with an inexpensive 24-hour virtual storefront. You can build relationships with prospective customers by offering them high-quality content on your site such as blogs, how-to articles and videos.
Extend your reach by using social media. But if you’re not willing to invest in a professional blogger who understands your business or devote eight to twelve hours a week of an employee’s time, you’re better off going with a simple, well-designed website.
Your building and surrounding land or sidewalk are great places to put up signs and banners. And don’t forget to use your vehicles as moving billboards. But remember: Your images and messages should focus on what you’re selling, not your company’s name.
By sponsoring a softball team or participating in a charity drive with a check and a collection jar in your lunch room or by the cash register, you’re not only doing your part for the community, but also generating goodwill with customers and prospects.