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How to start marketing for a small business

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It almost goes without saying, like an unwritten rule – when budgets are tight, marketing is the first thing most companies think of cutting.

How to start marketing for a small business

It almost goes without saying, like an unwritten rule – when budgets are tight, marketing is the first thing most companies think of cutting. It’s true, traditional marketing is expensive, hard to measure and results cannot be tracked very accurately every time. However, for small business with small budgets, there are so many techniques and things to do that will bring in business without breaking the bank.

Elevator pitch – first things first, create your elevator pitch. Your sales team will be bringing in your clients so it is important that they know your product inside out and that they believe in your product because if they don’t, this will come across in their pitch. Practice your sales pitch as many times as is necessary and until your sales team is confident with what they are saying. Your pitch needs to be compelling, short and attention grabbing. With attention spans on the decrease, once you have engaged your prospect you have about a minute to sell your product so make sure that you come up with a killer elevator pitch. That one minute is your make or break moment.

Collateral – ensure your marketing collateral – flyers, brochures, business cards and any other material is consistent in terms of branding and the message you send across. Double check for spelling errors and typos before they go for print and distribute them every chance you get.

Collaborate with companies in your area – think of a group of companies that offer completely different products but target the same market. Cross promote, help each other out and create a little community where you can host events, work on coming together to promote each other and expand your customer base.

Network – networking can be time consuming and sometimes it can take months before you get anything back from it. Regardless, a strong network is a great asset and is essential for new business owners. Introduce yourself to other business owners, see how you can work together, hold workshops and get involved with the community. Networking can be done in so many different forms, it’s important to ensure you step out of your comfort zone and get your company out there.

Be a guest speaker or writer – find events where you can offer knowledge in the form of speeches so that people can learn more about you and your company. The same applies for guest writing on well known blogs. This positions you as a credible authority in your field.

Ask for referrals – ask your customers for referrals. Approach them nicely, tell them that you would appreciate if they could give you referrals or even reviews on platforms such as social media and your website and thank them for their time.

Build relationships – getting customers is extremely important but many companies overlook the importance of retaining existing customers. Speak to your customers on a regular basis to ensure they are happy. Take their concerns seriously and treat them with respect.

Special offers – have early bird discounts for new products, give out coupons, have a referral program that offers discounts and advertise these offers to get the word out. Free trials also work very well and most people would be happy to give you a good review if they are happy with your product after a free trial.

Build a database – from your very first enquiry, create a database of clients and potential clients and send them mail blasts, newsletters and other company news.

Social media – get active on social media. Join groups and communities, interact with other people, partake in conversations and become an active member of social society. Posting on social media is free so you can do it as often as you like provided the content is interesting, relevant and not considered spam.

Blog – start a blog on your website. Brainstorm with your team, gather ideas for topics and start writing. Blogging helps keep your website updated on a regular basis, improves search engine marketing and changes the way your customers perceive you.

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