The NZS.nz Small Business Marketing article contains information on refreshing your small business marketing strategy.
Small business marketing can be tricky terrain for those new to the game, but these five strategies and tips will see you boosting your business in no time.
In small business it can be easily to slip into the mentality that marketing is something you take care of periodically. But in such competitive times refreshing your small business marketing strategy once a year is simply not enough. Marketing should be an ongoing process: something you maintain regularly to ensure you are always up to speed on new small business marketing tools, ideas and tactics to stay at the forefront of potential customers’ minds. If prospective clients and customers know about your business and have already built positive associations in their minds regarding what you do, you’re all the more likely to nail down a sale when you make a call to action.
While budget is omnipresent in the minds of small business owners, small business marketing can indeed be done effectively on a shoestring thanks to the proliferation of new and innovative avenues for getting your message out to the masses. Forget any preconceptions you might have about being ‘cheap’. Putting the best message out to your target market can always be achieved using a combination of these great small business marketing basics.
Make Your Logo The Talk Of The Town
Even for the smallest of small business marketing budgets, a great logo is imperative. Your logo is the thing that will stand out in the minds of customers, and will also appear on all of your small business marketing material, from business cards and stationery to email signatures and trade-show banners.
Look at your budget and employ the skills of the best designer you can afford, being sure to give them a comprehensive brief of what you are looking for. Think about what message you want your logo to convey, because the tone of the design will ultimately illustrate your company culture, as well as your line of business.
Get A Fantastic Business Card
How many business cards have you received within the last six months? And how many of those have you actually kept? Sadly, the majority of business cards are lost or tossed within days, or even hours. This can be because a potential client finds your card uninspiring, or more commonly than you might think, because they find the card so ambiguous they are not sure what exactly it is that you are offering.
Badly designed business cards are one of the biggest obstacles in small business marketing, and can even result in creating a bad first – but lasting – impression about your business. That doesn’t mean you have to spend thousands on expensive design and printing however. There are many affordable options now when it comes to business cards, including websites that allow you to create quality cards online using their templates and customising them with your own logos and imagery.
To create a great business card that potential customers are far more likely to hang on to, include colour and a quality logo, but keep it simple for the sake of aesthetics. Don’t cram your card full of excessive information, but include your name, your role with the company, your contact details and always your website address.
Utilise The Power Of Local Media… For Free
Can’t afford to advertise? No sweat, because free promotion is often best when it comes to small business marketing. Local newspapers, magazines, and television and radio shows are always on the lookout for interesting stories to populate their columns and air-time, so make the most of them. Get in touch with all your local media to introduce yourself, and come up with a few interesting ideas to pitch to them as to why your story would be of interest to your readers.
This could be anything from your personal achievements in business to a charity event your business is getting involved in, but whatever it is be sure to keep it timely, positive and genuine. Ask yourself if the story would be interesting to you if it was about Joe Bloggs down the road, and if not come up with a new idea.
The beauty of harnessing local media in small business marketing is that editorial features and news items often convey more credibility to potential consumers than paid advertising might.
Host Events And Spread Good Cheer
Remember those charity events the local paper wants to write about? Well first you’ll need to organise one. Another small business marketing strategy is to spearhead an event for a cause you care about and get the community involved.
Not only will hosting a charity party or game of cricket allow you to meet lots of new people, but it will also showcase your leadership skills and demonstrate that your small business has a human face that cares about the community. And it doesn’t have to cost you a pretty penny either, if you work with other organisations and businesses in the area to sponsor the event and help out.
People will love the chance to get involved in something fun and feel-good, and will take away with them some great positive associations with your business.
Make Your Customers Feel Valued And Hang On To Them For Longer
One of the key rules of small business marketing is that it is easier, and more cost effective, to retain existing business than it is to create new business. Never let your customers slip away because they have forgotten about you or are dissatisfied.
To make your customers and clients feel valued and recognised, send them a personalised email once in a while to touch base, include hand-written thank you notes with purchases, and give them a quick call if you haven’t heard from them in some time.
If they’ve had a bad experience always be sure to personally apologise and offer a discount on future services, because often an acknowledgement will be all they need. Being kind to customers is one of the easiest small business marketing strategies to put in place, so always keep it at the forefront of your mind.