Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Small business guide to effective marketing strategies

The goal of marketing is to attract customers who want to buy your service or product. Small businesses frequently fail if they can’t figure out how to do this. However, small businesses can move toward ensuring their success by implementing the following strategies:

  1. Create a product or service that is needed by the public and stands out from the others in the same category. For example, there are many wedding photographers in most cities. If you are one of them and you want to book more weddings than the others, you’ll have to distinguish yourself by providing services that are different and better than theirs. Instead of creating wedding albums that look just like theirs, create your own style that sets you apart. At times, this will be a risk, but if you deliver quality work, you will develop your own niche of the market.
  2. Develop a name for your business and a motto that will identify you easily. To attract customers and to facilitate their referring you to others, choose a name that it easy to remember and has something to do with the product or service you are offering.
  3. Create printed materials, including a business card, brochure, and website, with a uniform look, so when people see it, they don’t even have to read it. They’ll recognize the look of it as yours.
  4. Don’t distribute anything about your company or service that is not professional. Every piece of paper and every communication from you reflects your business, so make each communication count.
  5. Keep your name in front of your customers. Don’t let long periods go by without letting your customers hear from you. And, set up a good system to keep track and communication with your customers. You’ll want to continually add to your customer list.
  6. Don’t advertise. Send information instead. By this I mean that people often throw away advertisements without reading them, but they rarely throw away an information booklet or newsletter. So instead of sending out a flyer that just advertises your product, write an article or two about what you do or informative text about your product’s use and send it out as a newsletter. Always include information on topics other than your product, so your readers will learn to look through the newsletter carefully because you’re providing them some interesting text.
  7. Sponsor some type of event to bring in the customers. A talk about your product or an open house for old and new customers is a good idea. With events such as these, you can send out a press release to various media outlets and you just might gain the interest of a writer for the local paper or supplement. If no one wants to publish an article about your event, you can at least have it listed in the calendar of events in the paper and on local radio shows.
  8. The most important thing that a small business owner can do to market their business is to stay alert for opportunities. Frequently, you hear about events that would have been a perfect opportunity to market your business. To know about these opportunities in time to take advantage of them be sure to read local papers and magazines cover to cover. You never know what opportunities might arise.    

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