Why would you want to work for someone else when you could start a successful business and work for yourself? Too many people don’t realize that the only thing they need to start their own business is one great idea. Think about it! Only one great idea separates you from success, and everyone has at least one good idea brewing inside their heads. So why don’t more people pursue the dream if it’s that easy? Looking into the source of the problem it’s easy to see that the one thing blocking most people from taking this opportunity is the seemingly overwhelming task of small business marketing.
Reaching out to customers is the most important part of any business, whether the business is old or new. How else will they be able to see or even understand what products you offer or what services you provide? Letting your customers know about new products, special offers, or current discounts will encourage more traffic to your site and more return business.
All these activities can be summarized in one phrase – small business marketing. Marketing requires you to examine the nature of your offerings and delineate your potential customers. After that you need to study customer behavior and preferences. These findings along with studying the nature of your competition will form the core of your small business marketing strategy.
After developing a marketing strategy, you need to plan a method for implementing it. Small businesses are usually unable to spend a large amount of money on expensive advertising like television commercials or newspaper promotions so you will have to be inventive. There are, however, a variety of methods appropriate for small business online marketing and small business offline marketing.
Let’s first consider online promotional strategies. To get anywhere these days you need an online presence – a company website or blog – even if your business does not sell things directly online. Your website or blog serves as a good platform to inform, attract and retain customers.
In addition, having a website allows you to take advantage of promotional strategies such as search engine marketing, pay per click advertising, email advertising and free advertising in websites like craigslist.org and others. Online chat forums are also excellent places to publicize your business. Starting your own blog or producing short informational videos and posting them on Youtube and other video sharing sites are just two more of the many ways to get the word out.
Offline strategies for small business marketing can be quite original and inventive. Use classified ads in local newspapers or selective direct mail campaigns to different areas of your city. You can also contract with people to do door-to-door marketing and use students to hand out promotional materials. Events sponsored at colleges and nightclubs also attract a high volume of customers and are helpful if you are targeting young adults.
There are no boundaries to creative thinking. Successful small business marketers come up with their own innovative ideas and put them into action. So go ahead and be creative. Develop a plan, use your imagination to promote it and you will be surprised how easy it is to be successful.