The Importance of Marketing Your Small Business
Are you the owner of a small business? Here are my five top reasons as to why it is so important to connect with your customers and why you should market your business well.
- Find out and understand who your customers or clients are
This is the number one place to start when thinking about how you are going to communicate to your potential customers. Who are they? Where do they live? Are they a certain age group? What do they ideally want from your product or service? By knowing and understanding your client base as much as possible, you will be able to create a marketing and communication plan that resonates well with them. You might have a fantastic product or service, but without knowing who your potential customers are, how will you know how to reach out and communicate with them?
- Market research is key
Research is key to everything; both to understanding your customers but also understanding the market you operate in. Getting the balance right is important at this stage. I know all too well about how hard it is getting together funding for research when you run a small business, let alone the time to do this in. However, there are clever ways to enable you to do this cost effectively. Feel free to contact me further to discuss this. Customer research will lay the foundations of starting your marketing plan correctly. You need to find out what people like/dislike about your products and or services, but at the same time also finding out about what else is in the market that you operate in. Where do you price yourself? How much should you charge? How can you encourage repeat business? What are other similar businesses doing? How can you differentiate yourself? These are all questions you should be seeking to answer at this stage.
- How do I differentiate myself?
Not all businesses are unique innovations that no one has launched before, so this question is most probably relevant in a majority of cases. In fact when my husband and I launched a construction business, we of course weren’t the first people to do this! So how can you launch and market a business that is pretty much the same as most other businesses in your field? The answer is to find ways that you are different or could be different and make sure your differences are appealing to your potential customers. There are lots of different ways you can do this. Perhaps you can capture a share of your market by looking at your pricing and offering better value for money. If you have a product or service, perhaps you can make introductory offers. Perhaps your service goes above and beyond what other people are offering in your field? For example for mine and my partners building company, we were the first company in our field to have a customer service team and a digital system in place to manage and track project progress. This was unheard of before in our market. In essence you have to have something that makes you different from everyone else and continuously ask yourself why should a customer choose my business over someone else?
- How can I find my customers and grow my business?
As a marketer I am frequently asked this question. In this day and age, technology and ways of communicating and speaking to your potential customers is ever changing. I come across a lot of small business owners that think marketing is social media. Well it is, but it is one small element of marketing. In fact there are many other ways of talking to your customers – what you will need to do is find the right mix. This is where element one is important as hopefully you will now know and understand your customers well. Firstly there’s no point basing all your marketing efforts around social media, if your customers are not using social platforms. You may need to consider other options such as print advertising, events, PR, encouraging word of mouth, newsletters, point of sale signage if you are in a retail environment and so on. The important message to take out from this is that you may need a combination of marketing tactics to reach your desired customers. Ava Rose Marketing is able to help focus on all of this, with our marketing plan creation service. This service will very much help small business owners to focus on the right marketing mix for your products and services.
- How do I encourage repeat purchases and secure the future of my business?
One big lesson I have learnt from running my own business is to never rest on your laurels or be complacent. If you do this, then your competitors will catch up, you will lose your customers and your business will potentially shrink. It is important to think carefully about how you can encourage the customers you have already worked so hard to attract to go out and spread the message of your company and its products or services to others, but to also return themselves. There are ways and means of doing this. Firstly make your customers feel special. Stay in regular contact with them, give them a reason to come back to you i.e. loyalty schemes, events etc. Also continuously look at your product or service offering and ensure you are doing the best you can. Can you be offering something better? Is there a new product or service you can launch that would appeal to your customers or to new ones? If you can devote the time to do this it will pay off greatly.
Are you stuck for time? Or not sure how you can fit any of the above in? Talk to me today to see how I can help you.