Contributed by April Boey
Small businesses often find it challenging to promote or manage their products, services or the business as a whole. From installation of accounting software for tracking and establishment of systems to launching promotional campaigns, the proper management of every aspect of the business requires keen understanding of the core business areas. Here are some time-tested tips to efficiently market your small business and create your own success story.
1. Avoid promoting like a large business
Do you know why big businesses advertise? They do so to retain their recognition and name, and hence maintain or boost sales in future. However, a small business cannot afford to do the same. Instead, as a small business owner, you should focus on designing your promotional campaigns in such a manner that they generate current sales. A great way to achieve this is to rope in a lucrative offer within your advertisement, along with making room for potential customers to respond to that offer within a short span of time.
2. Be present at networking events
If you are a master networker, your job of marketing your small business is more than half done. It is natural that a small business needs to attract more local clients than global ones. So, try to be present at events that are occurring in and around your city or town. When you are successful in building up a community through networking and significantly contribute to the same, it is obvious that people will have you in mind when they are looking for an expert in your specific field.
3. Give off some freebies
Yes, that is one of the greatest secrets to make your business popular. For instance, if you are in the web design business, you might deliver logo design for free for the first 20 early bird clients. Again if you are selling some tangible product, such as ice-creams or chocolates, you may arrange some shows and give away some samples for free. Once customers taste your product and like it, they will definitely like to visit your local store for making purchases.
4. Go for some out-of-the-box marketing methods
If you are planning to market your small business, it’s time to begin your journey on ‘the road less travelled’. Hence adopt some exceptional marketing procedure or ideas that your competitors are failing to see. This may lead you to come across some extremely profitable means to generate sales by staying away from competition. You might consider distributing door hangers with your advertisement printed or even mail a postcard containing your ad, in the area where you target market resides. This action may lead to good amount of traffic to your site or a handsome sales volume at low investment.
5. Join hands with other businesses
Get in touch with small businesses operating in non-competing fields but serving similar target groups as your business. Start off by publicizing their services or products to your client base and ask them to do the same for your services or products in return. Cross-promotion brings down your investment cost and is also very effective in increasing your client base.
6. Render support to a cause
Supporting a cause such as child welfare, women empowerment or betterment of the environment goes a long way in increasing the goodwill of your business amongst existing as well as potential customers. You may involve yourself in cause-related campaigns on a regular basis, which will ultimately help you in gaining popularity as an organization with social responsibility.
You may also consider starting your own podcast or sending weekly, fortnightly or monthly mails. Analyze your business goals carefully and accordingly select the right marketing technique.
April Boey is an accountant at Reach technologies, a company that provides business consultation in Singapore at http://www.reachtechasia.com. She has worked with countless business owners to help them to save more money and plan their finances better in order to build a successful business.