Marketing a small business takes a focused effort and strategy in order for it be used effectively. It’s important for a business to reach its targeted audience, while also keeping costs as low as possible. If you’re just starting out with your business, there may be a learning curve as you test what works best for you and your customers.
Here are a few ways to get started and make sure your business is getting the attention it deserves.
1) Create a website
You can hire someone to do this for you or you can easily do it yourself with a website like SquareSpace.com. A majority of business and searches for business are done online now. You want to make sure you aren’t being overlooked by creating a solid web presence. A website is a good “home base” for visitors to come to in order to learn about your company, products, services, and any other important information. You can also use your website to create an online shop and sell your services both via the Internet and in stores. Whichever way you choose to go, make sure potential customers know how to easily reach you.
2) Take advantage of social media
Generally speaking, social media is free. You can use ads and adjust them to your budget on a month-to-month or one-time budget. Some businesses seem to be easier to promote than others through social media. For example, a restaurant trying to promote its food can easily snap a photo for Instagram or tweet out a new dish the chef is trying. Be sure to have business cards that stand out. Your business cards can include all of your social media handles so that potential customers can easily follow you.
Computer repair may not seem as alluring in the realm of social media, but it doesn’t mean that it’s not important or that it doesn’t have its own band of followers. You can use your online connections to share discounts, information, computer tips, and a few fun status updates about you and your company. Social media allows people to get to know you and what your brand stands for, not just your business.
3) Be creative with your signage
Whether it’s the signs you use in your store, specially-created signs for a workshop you’re holding or a sale you’re having, you can customize your signs at a fairly inexpensive rate and have them delivered to you through businesses like eSigns.com. When making a mock-up of your sign, make sure it’s visually pleasing, direct with its information, and ideally, able to be used more than once to get the most value for your money.
4) Send newsletters
Offer an incentive, such as a discount or free product, for people who sign up to receive your newsletter. Choose if you want to send once a week or once a month to keep people constantly engaged with your brand, even indirectly. Newsletters serve as a quick way to update your customers on a regular basis and keep your company fresh in their minds.
5) Monitor your online reviews
Many people are influenced by others to make decisions about a new business. If you receive a less than favorable review, make sure you address it right away. Think of your review central (i.e. Yelp, Google, Angie’s List) as an extension of your in-house customer service. You want to make sure your customers are happy and if they’re not, look for ways in which you can fix it.
Marketing has drastically changed over the years. It’s moved away from traditional print and has taken up residence online. Gauge your specific market and test what works best for your audience. Some customers may enjoy print, while others may look to their mobile devices to get the information they need. Some may be motivated by a radio ad, while others might be more enticed by a television commercial. Listen to your customers’ feedback and alter your marketing plan accordingly.
When you begin strategizing your goals, keep your audience number one in mind and think about what makes your business stand out from the rest. You don’t have to spend a lot to say a lot about your business. Get creative with how you share your message and above all, make sure you have the quality products or services to back it up. Together, this will create a loyal customer base for years to come.
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