5 Cost Effective Ways to Marketing Your Small Business
The success of a small business usually depends on how well it is known to potential customers. This is achieved through various methods of marketing and advertising. Advertising your small business to potential customers comes in very handy when you are starting up and there are not a lot of people who know about the business. In the next couple of paragraphs, we will take a look at some small business marketing tips that can help you get your small business up and running in a short time. With marketing, it is possible to get your first customers quickly and break even in much less time.
As you know, business promotion is very important for the success of any business. It is only through effective promotion that your business will be able to expand its client base and get new opportunities. There are various ways in which you can promote your business each varying in terms of costs, labor and time. Having a combination of different methods of business promotion in your business plan is very important and a key part of ensuring success for your business. Here are some of the things that you can do in order to promote your business.
1. Create a Logo or a Brand Image
In order to spread the word about your business, it is important to have widespread brand recognition. This gives credibility to your business and people get to be inspired to share with others information about your new business. You can place your logo on business stationary, email signature, site, social media profiles and even merchandising materials.
Get to meet professionals from other businesses that are related to yours. This way, you get to have an opportunity to learn about your competitors, ask for referrals and form partnerships that are mutually beneficial. It will also help in spreading awareness about your business to a group of like-minded people.
Here are some simple steps to networking:
A. Find out when meetings are held and set aside the time to attend the networking meetings
B. Prepare a 30-second elevator speech prior to attending the networking event. An elevator speech is a short, concise explanation of what you do and how you can help people solve their problems. Remember to focus the message on your customer or client, not to sell. Keep your message precise and memorable. A well-crafted elevator speech helps people to remember you long after the event is over. For more help on this, read more here.
C. Introduce yourself and your business to people at the meetings and explain what you do. This will help you stand out from the rest of the competition which comes in handy in business relationships.
D. Hand out your business cards. It enables you to set up meetings with people who express interest in your business. For better effect, get a unique business card created. Some creative business cards are shaped as a small wad of $100 bills folded or a small CD containing a short video that can be played on their computer. The more unconventional it is, the more likely someone will keep it and remember you.
There are a number of methods you can use in order to advertise your business such as billboards, print ads in newspapers and magazines, TV and radio commercials, giving away promotional materials at trade shows, direct mail through a mailing list directed at your particular segment of the consumer market, PR firms and the internet. Some are not so cost effective while some simply won’t work for your target audience. Don’t focus so much on the actual cost of the advertising just yet. After all, if the ad results in a net profit, it really isn’t a cost but an investment. Make sure you test and measure your results to determine an ad’s effectiveness. Only then are you able to determine if your advertising is effective. As a small business, the best kind of advertising is direct response where the ad generates a ‘response’, whether that is a store visit, phone call, a lead, or a sale.
Watch one of the great ad-men of the 20th century, David Ogilvy, explain direct response:
With internet business promotion, you can set up certain things such as a business website, a blog and social media accounts. These may also come in handy in the process of acquiring new customers and engaging with them on a social level. Internet marketing mediums are very cost-effective and expose you to a huge number of potential customers with less effort.
4. Build Partnerships with Other Businesses
Piggybacking (aka joint venture or JV) on the success of another business that has already been established is very important for your business. It is also a very effective advertising tool since you will be associating your business with a brand that the people are already familiar with. Please note that for a partnership to take place, you need to have something of value that you will be giving the other business in order to get something else in return.
5. Social Media
Social networks have become a very powerful tool for reaching a huge number of people quickly as most of the work is done be dedicated customers. With social networks, it has become possible to get a product or service going viral in a very short amount of time. Sharing content on your social media accounts can see that content shared by your followers to their social circles and get the message to more people than you had anticipated. Making use of social media is one thing that a small business should make most use of since it is not only cost-effective but also has great results in terms of customer acquisition and sales. When you think about social media, don’t just think about Facebook or Twitter. Youtube is also a fantastic way to reach out to your target market regardless of what industry you are in.
There you have it; 5 ways in which you can market your small business to potential customers most efficiently and with good results.