Make Success Your Goal
Small Business Marketing StrategiesCredit: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=2042
Marketing is an important part of any business effort but involves careful planning to be cost effective and useful for a small business. Use the tips below as you develop small business marketing strategies so that you know how and where to put your best efforts for a successful business venture.
* If your home is also the headquarters for your small business, include additional protections for privacy and security. Your business practices should always consider how you are keeping your personal life and personal space and personal finances separate from your business life. Advertising will be geared for these completely separate parts of your business life so that neither your social media sites nor bank accounts or phone numbers are shared between your business and your home life.
* Make the most of any face time you have with customers. If you have direct contact withCredit: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=3126 customers, choose a location that you can use for customer meetings. In small businesses where you see your customers occasionally or more often than occasionally, face time can be an important part of your marketing strategy. The location you choose for such meetings should suit the purpose of the meeting. If you are making a presentation, choose a setting that is free from noise and interference so that a coffee shop or restaurant will not be useful. If you are merely passing off work at a specific meeting perhaps a coffee shop or restaurant is useful. One way of getting around the fact that you don't have an office is to use your customer's office if possible.
* Use local resources to inexpensively expand your advertising efforts. For instance, if you know a person who is trying to start a business designing websites, offer to allow that person to use work that is produced for you as part of their own online marketing campaign. All or part of your website can be used in that person's website to illustrate the work that person is capable of producing and customers who view that person's website will then learn about yours.
* Advertising in both online and traditional publications that cover local businesses is a must. Most local newspapers have an online presence in addition to their paper format. As part of your business's marketing plan, price out advertising for both online and for the paper. If you only have enough resources to pay for one type of advertising, it is usually a better choice to gain exposure by including your business advertising in the online version of the publication. Before you do this, examine the publication online to ensure that its website is user friendly.
* Choose to have an advertising plan that includes monthly marketing efforts and expenditures for your small home business. Do not spend your entire budget for advertising on a single effort. Determine a monthly expense you can handle for advertising efforts. This will also include a set amount of time that you spend on marketing each month.
* Spend time determining the going rate for your type of business or service in your area. Correct pricing that is neither too much nor too little can make or break your business. If your product or service is more expensive than other similar businesses, your marketing should highlight what differentiates your business from those businesses to justify the increased expense for consumers. For instance, your higher price might be justified by emphasizing that you offer 24-hour emergency service, personal consultation or highly customized work. It is helpful to consider times when you pay more for a product or service and why in those instances you consider the increased cost worth it.
* Do not include markdowns and sales as part of your initial advertising efforts. Until you have established your business presence do not advertise price cuts. If someone's first exposure to your business is through a sale they will likely wonder why your business is already cutting its prices. Instead you can offer a "thank you" bonus or a newsletter option for first-time customers.
* Market the different aspects of your business. If you are advertising price in one advertisement, try marketing quality in another. Do not risk having your business associated as one that is trying to beat the prices offered by every other business in your field.
* Ask your customers where they heard about you. Once you have included advertising for your business in a number of spots, ask customers where they heard of your business. This will help you figure out where you should spend future marketing dollars.
* Do not advertise anything that you can't deliver on. If you advertise a particular product or service for a specified price take the time to include exactly what that price gets the person taking advantage of the advertising. This is especially important in order to avoid having customers accuse you of being dishonest. It also helps prevent customers who pay a higher price understand that they got more for their money then the person choosing the special price you've advertised.
Small business marketing strategies take time and money to be an effective component of your overall business plan. Use the tips above before you begin spending time on choosing how you are going to market your business.