“I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance” – Steve Jobs
Behind every small business, there’s someone with a dream and the perseverance to make it a reality. Each entrepreneur has an interesting story to tell and different challenges to overcome. However, what they all have in common is the need to come up with a tailored small business marketing plan to increase their chances of succeeding. Naturally, your business strategy depends on your needs. However, there are universal efforts that all small business owners must tackle. For example, some of these efforts are local and cost-effective advertising, branding, digital presence, conveying brand values, standing out from competitors and keeping within budget. What are you doing to promote your business? Are you maximizing your reach to spread your message?
As an established business, we have tried different marketing and business promotion methods over the years and have seen some amazing initiatives from our clients. With that in mind, let’s go over some simple techniques to get the word out and turn heads your way without breaking the bank!
Even if you are an established small business, conducting a focus group is the best way to get a feel for what your customers think about you. If you’re conducting the group on your own, make sure to invite a diverse group of people with varied preferences. The goal is to understand who your product or service appeals to and who you may be neglecting as a customer. Listen carefully and draw an initial action plan from your findings.
Whether for resources or strategy deficiency, small businesses marketing often lacks a distinctive brand image. In a recent Lucidpress survey, 60% of respondents said brand consistency would make an impact in closing sales. Your brand image might be the primary reason for people to walk into your business or walk away from it. Take the time to think about details like color, graphics style, messages, and logo.
Once you have dedicated your time to creating a brand image you are proud of, it’s time to share it with the world. List your goals and think of the different marketing ideas and tools that can help you achieve them. Do you need to improve your packaging on a low budget? Order custom stickers to use with your existing packaging. Are you planning a re-launch event? Create ingenious invitations. Be creative and find affordable ways to set your brand apart. And if you truly want to separate your brand from the rest, check out our premium line of ‘Fantastic Finishes’ and create a print product no one will be able to put down. These extra additions can help to build a truly unique marketing strategy.
Part of your small business marketing plan should be introducing yourself to your customers and laying the foundation for a loyal business relationship, something that people love to hear about. Let everyone see and experience what you have to offer. Plan an open day and simply let people in. Turn it into a memorable event by creating branded giveaways that showcase your products and give a short presentation. This day will make your community feel involved and closer to your brand. As a result, the attendees will surely spread the word about you and hopefully become regular customers.
Did you know 72% of people are influenced by looks and handshakes during a business transaction? (Source: GreatBusinessSchools.org.) B2B efforts are just as important as your B2C strategies. Connecting with other business owners might lead to profitable partnerships and interesting collaborations. By hosting a networking event, you will not only learn about any potential opportunities but also position yourself as a leader among local businesses.
Small businesses struggle with getting the exposure they need to truly position themselves as the first choice in their audience’s mind. Try joining a local market, trade show, or convention to get your brand out there. This might be more effective at specialized events since there is a higher chance of connecting with actual potential customers. However, keep an open mind and don’t be afraid to explore new spaces.
At this point, you’re probably already on social media and have tried different things to get your brand noticed. Social networks are constantly evolving and strategies have to adapt to keep up with those changes. At the very least, you should use a consistent brand image and message throughout the different channels. This will send out a trustworthy message to your followers and could easily become a factor in their purchasing decisions.
Just like social media, digital trends change and it is easy to fall behind. Keep an eye on your website, content, email strategy, ads, and any other digital communication format. You want to be found, you want to impress your current and potential customers, and this will not be achieved with an outdated digital strategy.
A good rewards program increases customers’ engagement with your brand. There are different ways to do this. You can use a point system, a spending goal, or a contest. The goal is to get your audience excited about making a repeat purchase or becoming a frequent visitor.
As an entrepreneur, you will surely find an opportunity to help your community. If not financially, by donating your space or making product/service contributions. This is not a small business marketing technique, it’s a way of giving back and acknowledging the support those around you have given you. Use your influence to create a positive impact.
Maximizing your budget does not mean increasing it, it means using your available budget wisely. Set priorities and allocate your resources where most needed to create an optimal brand strategy. Creativity will always be your greatest ally and will set you apart from your competitors. It’s not about spending more, it’s about starting more meaningful initiatives and implementing useful marketing tactics. Here at 4OVER4, we offer the most comprehensive print services for businesses of any size. If you have any print projects in mind, browse our online catalog now and choose the product that best fits your needs.