Being a small business has a lot of advantages. One of the major advantages a small business has is that it lacks a complex corporate structure so a small business can be agile, flexible, and quickly respond to changing conditions. Unfortunately, a disadvantage of being a small business is lacking the funding and manpower of a corporation, or even a medium size business. But there are still some great tools that a small business has to be competitive and market itself in today’s business environment. Let’s take a look at the 5 modes most widely used today, and examine how we could leverage these tools to get your brand out there, and make your life and work easier!
Part of building a successful business involves leveraging the happy customers you already have, not just acquiring new customers. Keep your customers up to date on your business and offer your business to them as a resource so they have a reason to keep coming back to you. A great tool to do this is MailChimp. But don’t just send out a newsletter just because you have to, or because you can, otherwise your customers will get bored and disinterested with your emails. Make sure your content is fresh, relevant, and informative, otherwise, just don’t send anything at all.
Growing a business is tough work. You are in an endless cycle of attracting new customers and developing your relationship with existing ones. It will never be easy, but with today’s technology, you do have an advantage – social media. Think about it. Time constraints no longer exist. You can actively engage with prospects and customers instantly and as often as you want. A special sale or new product announcement can happen today – right now. Want to encourage dialogue? Share pictures. Post a video or article. You don’t have to wait for your catalog to mail, your ad to publish or your email to be opened. You can also reach a larger audience than ever before. Look at Facebook. It’s the #1 social media platform in the world, with 1.39 billion active users and 1.19 billion active mobile users a month. Chances are, your prospects and customers are in those numbers.
Keep it simple. Chances are you are small business and have a small budget as well. If you are going to create a “one sheet” to hand out, consider designing and printing postcards. Postcards are versatile and can be used in multiple ways. Keep the content simple and consistent to your brand.
This should be a given. But it has to be said. Get out there into the community and network. Join your local Chamber of Commerce or find a local industry related association and get involved.
No matter how great your content is, how interesting the articles you post on Facebook or if you mailed out postcards to thousands in the area, strategy is where you must start and end your day. I can not stress this enough. Without strategy you will be spinning your wheels, spending your precious marketing budget and moving nowhere fast. Before you get out all these tools, spend sometime and build a marketing plan with goals, campaigns and a process that works for you.