Many times when setting up a business entrepreneurs have everything all set and in place. They have figured out how they are going to finance their business, they have figured out what their business does and what types of products or services that it has to offer people, they know exactly how many people the need to hire and they know nearly everything else that needs to be done in preparation for opening day. And then it hits them. They open their doors for business and then are confused as to how to get clients through their doors! Often times when a business first starts out many business owners are puzzled as to why they are not seeing the traffic that they have predicted. Well, the answer often is that though they have done everything right they have neglected the marketing portion of their business.
Often times when I am consulting entrepreneurs who are in the process of starting a business I instruct them to start with marketing plan first. That's right, a marketing plan because at the end of the day nothing else matters if you can't get the public to purchase your products or your services, thus, you must have a plan in place in order to get the word out. Below outlined some basic marketing essential that I recommend every new startup company does.
1. Direct Mail - Doing a target direct mail campaign is a great way to get customers coming through your doors. There are many direct mail companies out there that have compiled lots of data to ensure that you marketing piece (usually a postcard) reaches your intended target demographic. For example, you can mail a postcard to houses that have pets and make over $50,000 per year.
2. Flyers - flyers are great if you have a business that welcomes the general public. Placing flyers in businesses around town and at the grocery store gets the word out that you are open for business at a cheap price.
3. Door Hangers - There are many printing companies that can print large quantities of door hangers and then you can either hire out the task of pacing them out or you can do it yourself. Again, another great way to get the word out in the community if your business is local.
4. Newspaper Ads - Though getting a newspaper ad is not as effective as it once was due to the array of media options that catch our attention everyday they are still rather effective. In most cases I recommend taking out an ad in a local paper due to the fact that they are more likely to actually be read and seen rather than in a larger scale newspaper.
5. Television Commercials - What used to be a very expensive way of advertising is now relatively cheap because of cable. Many cable companies have advertising packages that are affordable because you can choose what specific zip codes you would like the ads to run in.
6. Social Media - Social media presence is a must in this day and age.
By compiling a marketing mix of all of the above advertising channels you are setting your business up for success.