You have a great idea for a new small business. However, as you think about marketing your small business and the challenges you face, you start to realize that, when it comes to marketing your business, you have no idea where to start. While you perfectly understand the product and service you want to bring to market, you are unsure of the steps you should follow to launch this business successfully and to market it most effectively.
Already, you might be frustrated that your Internet research produces results that are all about ‘digital marketing’ whereas you know that marketing is broader than that.
In this article, we are going to simplify the whole process!
Your Initial Thoughts
You know you don’t need to be a marketing expert, and you also know that there isn’t a single one-size-fits-all solution. Since your business is different from everything else out there — your marketing plan will need to be very different from that of any other company, even those which serve a similar market. You need straight forward marketing strategies to secure a share of that market.
The process you can start with what you can find on the Wiley brand’s Dummies website, which offers a comprehensively laid building a marketing plan. Following a strategy like this, adjusting it and applying the time and resources required is key to the success of your marketing.
Your Marketing Cheat Sheet!
Empower yourself to apply intelligent marketing plans and ideas by following the steps laid out below!
1. Understand Marketing Basics
Knowing what to do in marketing is as crucial as knowing what not to do. In summary, here are six of the basics to keep in mind:
- Avoid telling customers how great you are.
- Be wary of making big claims and empty promises.
- Wisely use your time networking with strangers.
- Focus on not wasting your time on unnecessary follow-up.
- Don’t dumb it down for social media.
Be cautious about putting all your faith in passion.
2. Do a Competitor Analysis
An essential part of your business is going to be its presence in the digital landscape, the Internet. Survey what the competition is doing. You might already be aware of who your top competitors are, but make sure you do the following:
- Regularly visit their websites.
- Frequently read their blog.
- Join their social media channels.
- Subscribe to their email offerings.
Look for ways to replicate the good things they are doing and figure out how you can do better than them.
3. Put Your Customers First
In the simplest of terms, putting customers first means that your business will consider the needs and requirements of your customers before anything else. This is key to your initial and ongoing success.
By understanding who your customers are, what is important to them, even after they have made a purchase, will give you an edge over the competition.
“If you work just for money, you’ll never make it, but if you love what you’re doing and you always put the customer first, success will be yours.” – Ray Kroc.
4. Understand Your Target Market
Not everyone can be a target customer. Being specific about your marketing activities is the secret to creating quality inquiries and getting prospects to invest in your business willingly.
5. Understand the Difference between Marketing and Advertising
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that marketing is the same as advertising, which it certainly is not.
6. Set Sales Goals
7. Become Familiar with the Four Ps of marketing
Getting all Four Ps of Marketing working together is crucial to good marketing.
- Product—Design, features, warranty, and sizes.
- Price—Closely related to your business objectives.
- Place—Where are your products and services going to be available?
- Promotion—Website, product brochures, and flyers, social media presence, local business.
Create a toolkit just for marketing your small business
Armed with the marketing fundamentals, you can’t help but succeed in attracting new prospects and thus generating more business. Create a marketing toolkit and be prepared at all times:
1. Create a Plan and a Budget
Putting a plan in place that will support you for the future is essential to get you to keep you on track. As you will learn from the Freshbooks website, this can be done as few as five simple steps.
2. Develop Outstanding Product or Service
Be sure you do your research and listen to your prospective customers before developing and delivering your product to market.
3. Have a Professional Brand
Your brand is much more than the logo you design for your business.
4. Produce Impressive Marketing Materials
Your business card, company brochures, signage, website, and blog all speak volumes about you and your business. Consider using tools like those offered by Canva in creating marketing materials that sell.
5. Prepare an Elevator Pitch
As you market your business, you’ll get asked numerous times about you and your business. The way you answer is vital to promoting your business.
6. Create a Stunning Website
Your website should be viewed as the ideal tool to attract new customers as well as retain and stay in touch with your existing customers. That ia crucial part of success in marketing your small business.
7. Create a Customer Database
The foundation to all good marketing is the building a solid record of past, present, and future customers (prospects). This database could be recorded in something as simple as a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.
Ideas to Market your Business
Being creative and having the courage to do things differently from everyone else can be the difference between the success and failure of your business.
Here are a few of the ways you can market your business:
1. Attend Networking Events
It is frequently stated that it’s not what you know, but who you know. These days more than ever, it’s all about making connections, either online or in person.
2. Sponsor a Local Event or Charity
Supporting your community is guaranteed to make you feel good. Everyone benefits — not only your business but the community at large.
3. Manage Your Public relations
Raising your company’s profile on social media, even on TV, radio, and in newspapers and magazines may not be as hard as you think.
4. Use Social Media
Using social-networking sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook is just a great way to start.
5. Host Seminars and Events
Hosting events and inviting model customers to attend is a great way to get to know people. Events are a great way for Marketing Your Small Business, According to a study conducted by Bizzabo 40 percent of respondents thought live events where the most effective promotion channel, followed by 16 percent who said personal relationships are best tool for promoting events.
6. Become a Public Speaker
While the thought of putting yourself ‘out there’ might be terrifying, remember that with most modern businesses, there are opportunities to record video and even create podcasts for your audience, many of whom could be prospective customers. If you want to effectively have a marketing strategy for your small business you may need to consider promoting yourself as a key spokesperson.
Next Steps when thinking about marketing your small business
Even mastering the steps laid out above will leave you wanting to do more. You will need to create a blog and web content to share. As you enhance your website, you’ll develop ideas to make it work even better for you and your business. Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Email Marketing, and the promotion of your business on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook will all need your attention.
As Brian Tracy says, “Take action on your plan. Do something. Do anything. But get busy. Get going.”