Four Steps to an Effective Small Business Marketing Strategy

You know you have a great product or service. You have the best sales personal to help your customers make an educated buying decision. You have the best customer support set up to help your customers with any questions they have after the sale, but what are you doing to market your product or service. Nothing really happens in your business to make money before you set up and implement your small business marketing strategy.

Small Business Marketing Tip Number one

The first part of your marketing strategy should be to know your customer. Take time to think about why someone would want your product or service. You need to know what motivates your potential customers so that you can position your product or service correctly.

Small Business Marketing Tip Number Two

The second part to your small business marketing strategy is to stay consistent in your message and communication. You’re current customers and repeat customers are the most valuable customers that you have. They have already done business with you and you have had the chance to develop a relationship with them. Make sure to stay in contact with them and let them know you appreciate their business and also let them know when you have specials or new products they may like. Some tools you could use in your small business marketing strategy to stay in contact are email, text messaging, mailers, social networking messages and posts, updates on a blog or your website and so many more. Make sure you are gathering contact information from your customers and make them feel important because they are.

Small Business Marketing Tip Number Three

The third part of your business marketing strategy should be to use the media as much as possible and make some noise about your product or service. Get your business covered in as many news, radio, Internet publications as you can to establish yourself as an expert or an authority. News stations and local print media are constantly looking for good stories to be part of and talk about. Make sure that you present your business to them with the audience in mind on not necessarily to promote your business. The sneaky part of your small business marketing strategy is to let them get the word out by delivering a real cool story they can report on.

Small Business Marketing Tip Number Four

The fourth part of your marketing strategy is to make sure that your customers can find you. In the fast paced work we live in today people are using technology more and more to make their buying decisions. This includes the whole buying cycle from research to purchase for products and searching on mobile devises for local businesses. Statistically one-third of mobile searches are with local intent meaning people want to purchase now. This means that if your business does not show up their mobile device either through search or local listings, they are probably going to do business with your competition.

Your marketing strategy should be all about developing a relationship with your customer’s, this is starts with your message and should continue long after the sale. With all of the options technology offers getting news customers and staying in contact with them has become very cost-effective, so make sure to plan out your small business marketing strategy.

The Small Business Marketing Tip That Costs Only 77 Cents!

So you own and operate a small business, and you’d like a fast way to put more paying customers into your store. You want something that works. You want it to be relatively easy to implement and somewhat cost effective. (Notice I didn’t say cheap. Don’t look for cheap. Look for effective. Often the two don’t go together.)

Well I’ve got good news.

Because in today’s article, I’ll show you how I used a small business marketing strategy that cost me only 77 cents per customer to build my small business into the #1 in its niche.

This was no small task since my industry is ultra-competitive.

But I found that the secret I’ll share with you in this article helped me dominate my niche because my competitors simply weren’t willing to do it.

Which meant I was in a league of my own.

Ready for this small business marketing tip?

OK, here goes.

The 77 Cent Small Business Marketing Tip:

Shortly after opening my business, I built a customer list of right around 100. This was mainly from my website which was superb. I wasn’t happy with this. So I dove into a bunch of marketing courses. And after listening to one audio program on small business marketing, I decided to implement an offline, hard-copy, paper and ink client newsletter.

What’s that?

It’s something you can use to stay in touch with your customers. To build a rock solid relationship with them so you can sell more of whatever product or service you offer.

Is writing a client newsletter easy?

No, it’s not. Don’t let anybody tell you it is. But the more you do it, the better you get. And the better you get, the faster you can knock one out. It takes me about 4 hours a month. And ever since I implemented this single small business marketing strategy, I’ve seen my sales take off like a rocket to the moon.

There are many reasons for this.

But if I had to put my finger on one, it’s this: My clients tell me that when my paper and ink newsletter arrives in their mailbox, they feel like they’re getting a small treat. Something that puts a bounce in their step. Something that makes them feel good. Something that takes them away from their problems for a few minutes.

That’s because I entertain, educate and inform in my client newsletter.

Which has turned my everyday customers into raving fans.

And no, emailing your customers a newsletter is not the same as mailing them a hardcopy.

So there you go.

You now have in your hands one of the most powerful small business marketing secrets there is. What are you going to do with this tip? That’s up to you.

Tips to Minimize Risk When Starting a Small Business

There is almost always a certain amount of risk involved with starting a small business. According to the Small Business Association (SBA), more then half of new small businesses will close down within five years. Underlying these sobering statistics is the unspoken financial turmoil, ruined credit, strained relationships, and personal stress that can accompany a business failure. Taking steps to minimize the risk inherent in starting up a new company is thus good business practice that, when done correctly, can save a tremendous amount of headache and heartache down the road.

To that end, here are five essential tips to follow that will help minimize the risk of starting a small business.

1. First define your unique risks. Before you start your business, or as soon as possible, take out a piece of paper (you can do this electronically, but taking time to write it out will make it more real to you) and make a list of all the possible risks of starting a business in order of priority as you see them now. Why is this important? Because it will give you perspective, and it will help to focus on those risk areas that you are already aware of.

2. Create strategies to minimize the above risks. Now that you have identified some of the risks involved with starting your venture, develop a plan to help minimize them. Here are a few examples:

  • To protect your personal assets:Avoid signing personal guarantees on any of your business’ debt- especially if you are running a sole proprietorship or partnership. Also, make sure to consider taking out property and liability insurance policies.
  • To help ensure that you have enough income to live on: If you are starting a new business chances are you will not be generating enough revenue to adequately pay yourself at the beginning. You also will have to cover startup expenses. To help minimize this risk, you can maintain another income stream on the side (or alternatively, keep your day job and run your new business on the side, until the business is more profitable). You could also wait to start the business until you have saved up enough money to help cover living expenses at the beginning, or you could take out a small loan for this purpose.
  • To protect your work-life balance: If you are married, make sure that you check in with your spouse and other family members about starting a new business. Running a business typically takes more time and energy than working for an employer, and it can involve odd hours as well. This can put a strain on relationships. If you are afraid of getting too wrapped up in your business, then create some natural separations, such as not running it from your home, and if you do then trying to separate your work area as much as possible from your living quarters. You can also enlist the help of family and friends to keep you from overdoing it in your work schedule.

3. Make sure the business is a good fit for you. What experience, training, skills, or knowledge do you possess that can be used to run this business? Make an effort to enter into an industry and chose a business model that fits you and your unique strengths and qualities. Additionally, if you are lacking in industry or business management know-how, you could enter into a business partnership with others who have it. Moreover, make sure your business idea fits your personality. You can not run a restaurant if you do not like food, and you will have a hard time selling your services if you shy away from social situations. Finally, do you have the available time and commitment needed to start your own business?

4. Make sure you know how to run a business. Have you received any formal business management, business financing, or marketing training? If not, is it vital that you learn the basics of owning and operating your own company. There are numerous free business how-to articles, webinars, and tutorials available online, via the SBA or SCORE, for example that can help fill in this information gap. Moreover, it is vital that you get a mentor. Either ask someone you know to help you, hire someone, or consider tapping the resources of groups such as SCORE and and Micro Mentor which provide free business consulting and mentoring services.

5. Make sure you have done your research. Countless small businesses disappear into oblivion because their owners fail to invest adequate time and money in market research, product development, and business planning. They are thus out of touch with their target market and are unable to establish a niche nor respond to changes in consumer attitudes. Those who are unsuccessful as small business owners also fail to adequately assess their competition.

Bottom line: by following the five tips above, you will be ahead of the game when it comes to minimizing the risk of starting a small business.

Sales Tips for Small Business Owners

Small businesses are a source of livelihood for many and they contribute to economic growth of every nation. Small business owners range from work at home moms to individuals running small shops and sales is key to the success of these small enterprises.

Typically every small business owner is a sales person and this is because they know their business and products better than anyone else. Here are some sales tips for small business owners.

• Use of social media networks

We live in a digital age and social media networks are the way to go. Social media as a platform has millions of active users across the world at any given time. This makes it the best platform for marketing your business or products. To add to this it is also cheap compared to the contemporary marketing or advertising ways. Social media allows a large number of people to interact with what you are selling and you can create a presence on social media by creating a fan page and posting business related articles that interest your audience.

• Good relations with customers

In every business you will have some top buyers, those who buy your products or services from time to time and you cannot afford to lose such customers. The only way to keep them is by maintain a good customer relationship with them. Maintaining a good relationship with customers is one of the top sales tips used by many small business owners. You can maintain a good relationship with your clients by giving them after sale support. There are many businesses that sell their products and forget about the customers who bought from them. Most of such businesses are never there to listen to complaints from customers. When you give after sales support to your customers, you stand out and increase your chances of making more sales from return customers.

You can also improve customer relations by giving discount coupons. The world economy is not so good and many people are looking for discounts as a way of minimizing their expenditures. Discount coupons attract many customers to buy products or services from your business. You may opt to give discounts to return customers of customers who purchase in bulk.

• Confidence and product knowledge

Clients want to know about your product before they commit to buying it. This means that as a small business owner you need to have good knowledge about your product. You should be able to answer all the questions asked by your customers confidently.

Consistency is very important in sales and with the above tips you are assured of improved sales and growth of your small business.