One invariable priority in your everyday business should be marketing. Your consistency in advertising and promoting your product and/or service spells the difference between progress and downfall.
Small business owners should have the flexibility to perform the role of different organizational positions such as being the manager, employee, receptionist, telephone operator, event planner, and even the janitor.
One of the most common mistakes of business owners is that they busy themselves with all the myriad small roles to the point they miss the big picture. And that is, to lead the business to the right path making certain that the company increases profits as it ages and not the other way around.
Aside from building brand awareness, constant marketing and promotion entail doing the following:
– Retaining the support of clients patronizing your business.
– Updating customers on new products and/or services or their enhancements.
– Exerting influence on prospects and turning them into avid clients.
– Keeping up with the industry.
– Establishing your business’s vision.
– Certifying professionalism and competency.
Your marketing efforts play a vital role in keeping the business healthy. At least 4 hours per day should be allotted to it. There are almost as many opinions on marketing as there are companies to market to, and ideas differ from person to person as to the most effective methods and strategies.
Below are proven methods you could use to market your business:
1) Web Site. Being online can change the direction of any businesses. Capturing leads are made easier and can be generated through opt-in e-mail, newsletter inserts, and text link advertising and/or other forms of pay-per-click marketing. With the internet, the possibilities are limitless and your audience could be anybody in the world who has access to the Net
2) Direct Mail/Postcard. Buy or rent a mailing list from a reputable supplier. The points to remember in designing and creating content are (a) make it eye-catching; (b) make your message clear, comprehensive and believable; and (c) there must be a call to take action.
3) Give Aways. This may be in the form of pamphlets, flyers, brochures, etc. Like direct mail, many people junk whatever is unsolicited but you could also apply the pointers above to get your hand-outs read.
4) Open House. Have a regular event where you could showcase your products and/or services. Also provide an informative seminar which may highlight the benefits of acquiring your products and/or services.
5) Press Release. Its primary function is for people to be informed of your business. It is important that you establish media relationships to have a press release. The key is the headline. Make it unique and straightforward to entice readers to read the whole article about the business.
6) Projects/ Groups. Participate in business projects and/or join social groups. Establish working relationships with other businesses that offer services or products related to yours. This may be a way to build partnership/s.
7) Volunteer. Sponsor an event that propagates goodwill and charity. You may extend support financially, host the event, or give away limited amount of your products. This is a very good strategy to gain word of mouth and even media attention.
8) Media. Aside from press release, if you can afford to venture into television, radio, billboards and other medium of advertising, why not try?
9) Network. In business, entrepreneurs could always use some support and guidance. Start by contacting people you know, ask for referrals and the cycle begins. Establish rapport with people that you talk to or meet. You could also attend networking events such as business luncheons with other professionals in the field that you are into. The thing to remember: make sure you have your business cards.
By John Hester