When it comes to marketing a small business, most would agree that it is all about generating enough sales opportunities so that the business can grow. However, it is also worthwhile developing concepts such as brand building and customer relationship management which won’t make any immediate impact on revenue but will make a difference in the long-run. These concepts will encourage customer loyalty thus leading to referrals and repeat business.
Whatever the size of your business, effective marketing always relies on a combination of long-term strategy and a short-term plan of action, always bear this is mind when planning your marketing strategy.
Small businesses require a slightly different marketing technique to bigger businesses due to their size. Bigger businesses work on creating name recognition and future sales but many smaller businesses are not in a position to be able to afford this. They need their advertising to generate sales immediately in order to grow and one effective way of doing this is to include an offer in the advertising. This makes prospective customers more likely to respond, and if they like your service, hopefully use you again.
If you find that prospective customers are not willing to pay the asking price of your product or service then in order to avoid losing sales, why not offer a smaller or stripped down version of your product or service at a lower price? This way you are still making sales and hopefully the customer should see that what you are offering is good value for money.
That being said, not all customers are searching for the lowest price. Many are willing to pay a higher price in return for a premium product or service so why not boost your total revenue by offering a more comprehensive version of what you normally offer, or even by combining products for a special premium package.
Always be on the look-out for unconventional methods of marketing that might be overlooked by your competitors. This may be a great way of generating sales and getting one over on the competition.
Look at reducing the size of your ads so that you can run more ads for the same amount of money. You might even find that smaller ads generate a better response than longer versions!
It may be worth contacting non-competing small businesses serving customers in your market and offer to publicize their services or product to your customers in exchange for promoting their products. This is a win-win situation and can usually produce a large number of sales for a low cost.
Make sure you are taking advantage of your customers effectively. They already know and like your service, therefore it will be easier to get custom from them than somebody who has never dealt with your business before. Therefore, why not take advantage of this already-established relationship and create special deals for your existing customers.
Offer your customers an incentive for them to tell associates and friends about the value of your products or services to really get the word out about your business. An endorsement is much more effective than any amount of advertising, not to mention much cheaper.
Create an event or something newsworthy for your business and then issue a press release to get your news in the media. Local news outlets need stories everyday - so give them something to talk about!