7 Tips for Marketing Your Small Business

Marketing your small business is an essential responsibility along with the day-to-day operation of your enterprise. You must plan your marketing initiatives just as you plan your daily work activity. Effective marketing is a tool to help drive traffic to your business consistently.

The following are 7 tips for marketing your small business for increased sales and profit:

1. Promote your website

Include an invitation to your website on all your other marketing materials. This includes invoices, order forms, promotional signs, brochures, and press releases. You can also include your web address in your email signature. Additionally, include it in your letterhead, envelopes, business postcards, and facsimile (fax) cover sheets.

2. Utilize social media effectively

21st Century marketing certainly means being social online. However, you must properly introduce your business and its products and services via social pathways. Your introduction to your business must show that you have solutions for your target markets concerns.

Make your introduction short and clear. In a few words describe what you do, who you do it for, and what benefits you provide. It’s that simple – sum up what your business is concisely and precisely.

3. Engage in offline marketing

There’s still something positive about traditional offline marketing. It’s served businesses well for centuries and continues to so. This runs the scale from face-to-face discourse, to direct mail, to newspaper and radio ads, to flyers to homes and other businesses, and business cards.

If a nice review of your business was included in your local newspaper, use this article as part of other offline marketing initiatives. For example, you can put an excerpt of this review in your hard-copy newsletter if you have one.

4. Market via trade shows

Use trade shows to introduce potential customers and suppliers to your business. Quality shows that attract huge audiences can garner you significant exposure. Trade shows are all about informing, displaying, promoting, demonstrating products and services, and of course, selling.

Make sure to investigate the cost of a particular trade show you’re interested in. Some can be expensive. Consequently, you must budget suitably for one and do a cost-benefit analysis to ensure you reap a proper return on investment (ROI) from the event.

5. Send out press releases

Press releases are a useful way to market your business. You can put them on your website and then to media channels. Furthermore, include these releases on your social media portals.

A press release is a way to inform about developments at your enterprise that are beneficial to your clientele. A good one contains accurate facts and information. They are simply and clearly written. They can highlight new products and services from your business. They can highlight quality employees – their achievements and job promotions as they affect your customer base and their needs.

6. Perform personal networking

Good old face-to-face networking still ‘works.’ Be ready to promote your business anytime as is appropriate. This can be at conferences and at community, cultural, sports and business events, among others. Just check to make sure it’s fitting to engage in business discussions at certain events. Sometimes promotional activities are frowned upon depending on the purpose and atmosphere of a particular event.

7. Consider direct response advertising

With this type of advertising you encourage customers to reply directly to your enterprise. For example, you may put a small ad in your local newspaper. This ad asks customers to call your business directly and place an order. It may ask customers to access the order page of your website to view products and directly place an order. Fundamentally, direct response advertising highlights an offer and includes a call to action to start the sales process.

Devote the time, energy, and finances as is feasible to market your small business properly. A concerted effort in this area will pay short and long-term dividends for your enterprise. The marketing of products and/or services is a skill you can develop the more you commit to actually doing it on a regular basis.



Why the Right Tools Are Vital For the Success Of Your Online Business

An online business just like any other business does require constant attention, well planned and properly executed sales and marketing plans and stellar customer care service to clients so as to succeed in this highly competitive market space. With every business out there to make a profit and satisfy client needs, it is only the best prepared online businesses which will enjoy success and return profits to its shareholders.

It is therefore imperative for an online business to use the right tools so as to ensure it does not only meet, but surpasses its laid out profit targets and customer satisfaction levels in equal measure. The right tools are required so as to enhance the efficiency and overall effectiveness in the way the organization conducts business. Using the correct tools should enable the company to not only do the right thing but also do it the right way; ensuring that programs such as advertisements and promotions are run in the most cost effective and efficient manner using the correct communication medium and being able to accurately quantify the returns on such an investment. There are numerous tools which can help in market analysis, market segmentation, and SEO amongst a host of others.

With both prospective and current clients being quite sensitive and having a wide array of similar goods and services to choose from, it is critical for an organisation to utilize all the available tools to proactively detect client dissatisfaction, respond to all client queries, and come up with non intrusive ways of engaging with both current clients and prospects too. Without implementing the proper tools, any business and especially so an online business, will constantly wallow in the red as it will not only be unable to attract new clients, but also be unable to retain the current ones.

With numerous sources of information and data being readily and cheaply available, most online businesses find themselves suffering from information overload. The market is awash with all kinds of information coming from both legit and dubious sources. It therefore behooves any respectable company to deploy tools which will assist them to sift through this trove of information and retrieve usable, accurate and current pieces of data which can help the organization to steer forward in their growth path.

The heightened competitive environment has also introduced both ethical and unethical modes of gathering client data and information. Apart from the ethical conundrum that the issue poses, many companies are now finding themselves spending a lot of money securing both their sensitive business information and client data. It is therefore also important for any online business to use the appropriate tools to secure their data and assure their clients that all their private data is safe and secure.

Finally, to fully appreciate why the right tools are critical to your online business success, it is important to play close attention to how businesses are now embracing the online space and how mobile telephony and the internet are currently intertwined. With almost every major business sector in the world embracing the internet as not only a tool but a key driver to profitability, the online business is on a positive growth curve and this doesn’t look like changing any time soon.