A significant percentage of small businesses will fail within their first years. This may sound pessimistic, but it’s an unfortunate truth. The main reason is a lack of preparation, and one of the most common areas in which this occurs is marketing. Many entrepreneurs operate on a “build it and they will come” ethos, but this scenario is rare. More commonly, you’ll need a great product, a cohesive team, and a winning marketing strategy if you want to get your business off the ground. So how do you build a plan that’s simple, yet effective?
Forget Me Not
Maintaining your current client base is just as important as adding to it, and while excellent customer service should always be at the top of your priority list, you sometimes need a little extra wow factor to keep yourself relevant. Branded corporate gifts are a great way to do this as they serve as a constant reminder of how helpful and thoughtful you are. This can also turn customers into ambassadors for your brand as their associates will see the products you have provided them with and will, therefore, be more likely to come to you if they require something that you offer.
Let’s Talk About It
Likewise, requesting and responding to reviews will also assist with retention while helping you secure new clients. Most people will check reviews when choosing a product or service, so having good engagement in this area will boost your sales. Make sure you prompt customers to leave feedback about their experience with you and respond as quickly as possible to any provided, even if it’s negative. This shows that you’re willing to take responsibility for all aspects of your business, thus building trust in your brand.
This one may be considered more a sales tactic than straight marketing in some circles, but as long as your exposure is positive, it doesn’t really matter where it comes from. If you have the ability to, consider offering group deals or discounts. Much like offering perks for larger orders, this strategy will boost your business income, but with the added bonus of creating more engagement because customers will be more likely to share the offer with their friends.
If you’re looking to drum up revenue in your local area, consider sponsoring or attending community events. This humanizes your brand and locals love supporting those who support them. If you’re hunting a little further away, trade expos and other general exhibitions can be great for marketing if your products and budget are suitable.
Last but not least is the mysterious realm of social media. Businesses are still working out where they fit on many platforms, but there’s no argument about whether you should be on them. Devise a content strategy that fits well with your target market and avoid focusing solely on advertising content. Make sure you engage with those who are liking or commenting on your posts and, if appropriate, run competitions that will boost your presence on the platform (like, comment, share, win type posts).
Marketing doesn’t have to be hard, but it does have to exist. If you don’t have a large budget during the early stages of your business, this is entirely understandable, but with these simple and easy tricks at your disposal, there really is no excuse for not having a plan. Start with what’s most comfortable for you and slowly implement other aspects as your confidence grows. If you do it right and keep your quality and service at a premium level, you’ll watch your profits grow to new heights.
Image Credits: Campaign Creators