Small businesses are those that have less than 10 employees. They are also referred to as mom and pop stores, service-based businesses or small enterprises. These businesses can be classified into three types: retail shops, services and manufacturing companies (if they have more than 10 employees).
The best marketing strategy for small businesses is the one that involves a combination of traditional marketing methods with new approaches. The following are some great tips on how you can get started:
1. Do not forget your employees – Your employees are your most valuable asset. They will provide your company with knowledge and experience, which will help your business grow. You need to make sure that all of your salespeople know what it takes to run a successful small enterprise. By giving them proper training, you increase their confidence in handling customer requests and also boost employee morale.
2. Offer discounts – Discounts give customers an incentive to buy from you. It is important to offer discounts for repeat purchases and customers who spend a certain amount of money with you regularly. This way, you make your customers feel special and keep them coming back. There are many ways you can do this, such as offering free shipping, coupons and other deals.
3. Be flexible – You may be starting out with a small budget but that does not mean that you cannot afford to advertise your products and services. If you want to reach more people, you may consider using social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to promote your business.
4. Focus on branding – Branding is a very powerful tool that every company needs to use in order to succeed. A brand is something that is associated with a particular product or service. This makes it easy for consumers to identify and remember your products and services. When it comes to marketing, a good brand will always be remembered by the consumer.
5. Create a website – Creating a website for your business should be among your top priorities because it is essential to establishing yourself in the market. Having a website gives you access to potential clients around the world. Furthermore, it allows you to create a digital presence that customers can easily find.
6. Invest in advertising – Advertising is another effective method of promoting your company. Advertising on television, radio and online has proven to generate leads and increase traffic to your website. However, if possible, try to avoid spending too much money on ads since there are cheaper alternatives available.
7. Use direct mailers – Direct mailers are excellent tools when it comes to reaching out to thousands of targeted prospects at once. Using direct mailers is cost-effective because you only pay for the number of letters received. As long as your mailing list contains qualified leads, it can be quite efficient.
8. Give away promotional items – Giving away promotional items like pens, mugs, key chains, mouse pads and T-shirts increases the chances of your customers becoming repeat buyers. You can also use giveaways and contests to increase sales and build relationships with your clientele.
9. Make it easy for customers to contact you – If someone wants to schedule a meeting with you, he or she must be able to locate your business or contact information quickly. Customers expect fast responses so make sure that everything is clearly visible on your website.
10. Hire a virtual assistant – Virtual assistants can take care of many tasks for you including answering calls, scheduling meetings, creating presentations and managing your social media accounts. Using a VA can save you time and energy while allowing you to concentrate on the core activities of your business.
11. Get referrals – Referrals are extremely helpful when it comes to building trust between you and your clients. A referral means that a person who knows about your business recommended it to him or her. Getting referrals from existing customers is ideal because it shows that you are providing quality services and products.
12. Offer rewards programs – Reward programs encourage customers to return to your store or shop again. Make it a point to reward loyal clients by offering them discounts, gift cards and other incentives.
13. Become visible – Being visible is one of the most important things you can do to attract customers. By getting yourself out there, you are making it easier for people to find your business. One way to achieve this goal is through social networking websites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
14. Build relationships with local businesses – Local businesses are usually willing to partner up with small businesses for mutual benefit. For example, if you sell pet food, you could partner with a local veterinarian clinic. In turn, the vet would refer his or her patients to you. Another idea is to start a club where local businesses and their employees can get together and exchange ideas.
15. Host events – Events are a great way to engage your target audience and showcase your products or services. It is also a great opportunity to network with other professionals in your field.
16. Make use of technology – Technology is one of the most powerful tools for any type of business. The internet has made it possible for small businesses to expand their customer base and reach a wider range of people. By leveraging technology, you can create an interactive environment where your visitors can learn more about your business.
17. Join industry associations – Joining industry associations is another great way to network with other professionals. Industry organizations are filled with experts who can share their knowledge and advice with you. These associations also allow you to meet other business owners and learn more about the industry.
18. Use social media networks – Social media networks like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are great places to connect with your target audience. Not only that, these networks can also be used to showcase your products and services directly to your followers. They are also useful platforms to establish yourself as a leader in your niche.
19. Have fun – Making a business fun is crucial so that your customers will continue to visit your store or shop. Fun promotions, special discounts and other perks will encourage shoppers to come back again and again.
20. Don’t forget about word-of-mouth – Word of mouth refers to recommendations given by friends and family members. They are usually the ones who tell others about the great products and services you offer. Therefore, it is critical that you develop strong relationships with your customers. After all, having happy customers is the best form of advertisement.