Starting a small business can be a daunting challenge at the best of times. There’s a maze of things to consider and every item seems to demand to be a priority. Marketing for a small business is one of these challenges that can’t be ignored, but faced with such a task, it is a struggle knowing where to start. Have a look at the steps below to get the marketing for a small business up and running on the right track.
The key to starting any plan is to do some thorough research. Areas to focus on should include:
Finding out what your unique selling point (USP) is, assess how you are going to add value to customers and how best you can communicate this to them. Outline a budget for your marketing spend and what your capabilities are; will you need outside help or will you run all marketing activities on your own?
Have a close look at the industry that you find yourself in. Identify the trends and norms of the industry and what the big players are doing successfully. A worthy exercise is to conduct a SWOT analysis and identify areas in which you can focus on. This will help you focus on your strengths, improve your weaknesses, take advantage of your opportunities and minimize threats to your business.
Your Target Markets
Engage with your target market and learn what they are looking for in the product/service that you have to offer. Collect a wide range of data that will give you a broad perspective on your customer base and identify key areas or aspects to target with your approach to marketing for a small business.
Have a close look at your competitors and what sort of marketing activities they are conducting. Identify what seems to have been the most effective and what hasn’t worked. By learning from their mistakes, you can save a lot of time and money.
Planning & Strategy
“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” – Sun Tzu
Outline a Strategy
Define your strategic intention and what you want to do. Establish goals, targets and the keys to being successful in your industry with the resources at your disposal. It is important to focus on what you want to do and achieve in this phase and less about the process of getting there. Set business goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. Think of it as planning a holiday, only once you know where you are going, can you decide whether to go by aeroplane, train or coach.
Develop a Marketing Plan
The marketing plan is what brings your strategy to life. If the strategy is the “what you want to do” then the plan is the “how you are going to do it”. For each goal outlined in your strategy, plot a series of actions that will lead you to reach it. This needs to include messaging for target markets, the overall theme focuses and what channels you will choose to use. This plan is effectively the roadmap that your business will follow to reaching the destinations that you have chosen to visit on your holiday.
Small Steps to Growing an Audience
You can have the best message in the world, but if nobody is hearing it, then it won’t matter. Some of the easy ways to get started with marketing for a small business can be several small things that will stand you in good stead for the future. Developing an audience is a key component and there are several easy ways to do so.
Make sure you have a social media presence on a variety of platforms. Create fun and engaging content that reflects your brand and shows your energy and passion.
Word of Mouth
Speak to people about your business and ask your friends, associates and relatives to spread the word. A personal recommendation carries a significant amount of weight when building trust in a business.
Establish a database of email addresses and contacts. Whether from networking, running competitions, friends, family or conducting surveys. Create a group of people that you can communicate with and then do so effectively.
Meet people and share ideas. Talk about your business and get advice and trade experiences. You never know what may lead to new opportunities and markets to access.
A great way to get your brand or business noticed is by using guerrilla marketing tactics. Displaying your brand around town or where people pass regularly can generate interest and excitement in your business and start conversations.
Having the right start to your marketing for a small business can get you moving in the perfect direction from the very beginning. A carefully measured and well-structured approach to all your marketing practices will ensure that you have a clear view of what you are doing, why you are doing it, allow you to zone in on the most effective techniques and identify those that are not performing as you wish. Knowing what works and what doesn’t is the perfect guide to reaching future success in marketing endeavours.
At Prime Pixels, marketing small businesses is what we do. We have the tools and skills to help you on your business journey. With a wide range of business growth services available, there is something for everyone. So get in touch, we’d love to be able to be the difference to you and your business.