Hundreds of new businesses open and close every year. Those who know how to market their businesses are the most successful.
Having a great business idea, money and good management is not always enough. With marketing that is continuous and targeted rather than sporadic and inconsistent, you will be able to attract new prospects.
The key is to put the right message in front of the right customer; this will create the right environment for a sale.
Here are a few inexpensive tips to help you market your business:
- Create a Vision for Your Business. Companies that are built to last have core values and make a promise of service to their customers. They also desire (and publicly state this desire) to make an impact on their community or the world. It is not just a mission statement that is posted on the wall; it is what drives everything about your business.
- Build Your Customer Relationships. Once you have a vision, you must find your perfect customer. The customer relationship starts with knowing your customer base, what they need and why they need it. Once your customers know you are sincere about serving their needs, they will return for the sale.
- Make a Memorable First Impression. Never underestimate the power of a well designed logo and business card. Make sure that your message is clear and responds to the needs of your customers. Distribute calendars, magnets and sticky note pads imprinted with contact information for your business. These items will remind your customers of the products and services you offer.
- Make Customers Feel Special. Make your customers feel like VIPs. Greet them by name, send them free product samples and thank them for their business with handwritten notes.
- Tap Into the Power of “Snail” Mail. Don’t just rely on the Internet to market your business. Get your customers’ attention by sending notes or post cards in the mail to acknowledge special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries; include discount coupons toward their next purchase.
- Boost Your Image at Trade Shows. Use professionally-designed signage at promotional events. Distribute glossy postcards and other promotional items. Make your trade show experience more interactive by asking patrons to complete surveys in exchange for free gifts. Conduct product demonstrations and get patrons to sample your products in exchange for their business cards.
- Plan a Promotional Event. Sponsor an event, party or conference for a cause you care about. Select your favorite play or sports event, and turn it into a fundraiser. Sponsor a networking event or donate your services in support of a local charity. This will give you a chance to stay in touch with current clients and attract new ones.
- Create a Unique Customer Experience. Create an experience that will keep customers returning to your business over and over again. People gravitate to Starbucks because they love the Starbucks experience. Create an experience for your customers that they will always associate with your business. Put your own stamp on it; make it your way and your style. Take advantage of online marketing with pay-per-click opportunities, blogs and chat rooms.
- Become an Expert. Use every opportunity to connect with new customers. Write an article for a magazine; include information about your business in your author bio. Volunteer to speak at an event or conference; this is a sure fire way to get you noticed. Use online chat rooms, message boards and facilities like Myspace to meet new customers.
- Court Local Media. Take advantage of opportunities to place editorial stories on your business in local newspapers; such stories convey tremendous integrity and are more effective than paid advertising. To generate the right type of exposure, hire an experienced public relations person to position stories, target appropriate media outlets and develop and distribute press releases.
About the Author
Cosette Yisrael is a features writer and the co-founder of Yisrael Communications, Inc. She is also the host of “Journey to my Better Self” a radio show/blog designed to empower everyday women to transform their lives financially, spiritually, emotionally, socially, environmentally and physically. You can find her online at BlogTalkRadio.com