Ways to market small businesses
Small and medium size businesses often have an unprofessional reputation. The reason is that they do not tend to use the services of expensive ad and marketing firms, because they lack the big budgets that the big companies have. That is why not many small businesses advertise well on TV, and most of their ads are of extremely low quality. Often, the office workers themselves (the secretary, the marketing director etc) are the ones writing the marketing materials, which often results in amateur and unattractive advertisements. Here are some tips that will help you avoid the reputation of a small amateurish business.
You must write a professional marketing brochure and for that you must weigh each word carefully and know who your target audience is. Remember to highlight your uniqueness, locality and specialty. Make sure to use simple and clean, yet accurate wording and correct spelling. The design is as important as the content. If you cannot create a design that exceeds the mediocre, a good printing company can do that for you, whether it is online by selecting a ready-made design to your liking, or an individual design service offline. Since small businesses enjoy the locality advantage, they can greatly benefit from printing marketing material like business cards, promotional magnets (business card magnets), advertising brochures for localized distribution, calendars, postcards, and so on. This is a way to advertise your brand locally at low cost. Making unique print products, like the ones we mentioned and others, is one of the best ways to advertise a small business that doesn't have the resources for a big marketing campaign. It is recommended to invest up to 10% of your turnover in advertising.
Although internet marketing also requires a budget and a professional touch, there are things you can do at a relatively low cost. An online presence is essential in this business era and many costumers will come knocking on your door after seeing you on the web. There are many and diverse marketing abilities here and you might discover that your product is suitable for selling online, and thus a new selling channel will open. Explore the different possibilities, but first and foremost you must build a site, even at a low cost, and make sure the address appears on all your marketing material.
Small businesses have few advantages; among them are agility and innovation. But its better you do not use your "small" status in the branding as well.
The reason is that if you want to brand your business successfully you must project an image of power and durability, qualities that are usually attributed to big brands. Your costumers want to see that you can keep you promises. You want them to feel at ease when they do business with you. You can tell them that you stand behind your products and services, but if your marketing materials are amateurish, your clients will not trust you. You must project a professional image. You can be as creative or as conservative (like Apple and Microsoft) as you like, just keep a professional appearance.
Luckily, it's not too hard to look like a big company. The rule is that coordinating your marketing materials gives you the professional look of a big company, from your business card and web site to all the rest. If your marketing materials do not match, clients will not recognize or remember you. A good logo is your brand's foundation, so build it wisely. It is recommended to use a one-stop-shop printing company that can deliver all the products you need; it saves mishaps, confusion and time.
Finding the customers:
People often think that if you do not spread your marketing net wide enough, you do not using your profitability potential to its fullest. In fact, the opposite is true. It is more expensive and less profitable to sell a variety of products to a wide audience. Furthermore, if your product/service is similar to that of the competition, the price will always be the focus. If the price is what sets you apart from your competition, then you will have a hard time building a successful brand. Focusing on a niche market is a great way to avoid focusing on price and to differentiate you brand. But how do you find your niche? First, a correction to a common mistake: a broad category, like women over 30, is not a niche. A niche is a narrowly defined group of potential customers. You will find it if you look for the customer who needs your product/service, and then ask how your product/service fulfills their needs better than the competition.
To determine your niche you must ask yourself questions like, who are the people most likely to use my product/service? What makes my brand special or unique? And why do customers choose my brand?
There are more ways to market small businesses, and we will write about them later on, but if you start with the four we mentioned here you will find you have made your first steps on the road to success.
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