Small Business Marketing–Keeping It Simple
Many business owners struggle coming up with ideas to grow their business. They’re often times in the trenches, putting out fires, and running a business to come up with good ideas that generate revenue. Here are a few tips you can use in your business right now.
Make A Special Offer
A special offer shouldn’t be taken lightly. This is how you can bring in clients and customers who have been doing business with you for years and attract new clients and customers along with them.
There are only a few components you need to make this work. A bundle of products or services that will be part of your special offer and a reason why you’re doing it.
Every month you can come up with some reason to make a special offer to your current customers. It might be Valentines Day in February or April Fools in April. It doesn’t take much to have a REAL reason to offer your customers a special. Make sure you don’t make the same offer every month. I know that sounds obvious… but you’d be surprised by how many people would.
Set Up a Formal Referral Program
One way to turn your current customers into a 24/7 sales force is by creating a formal referral program. You’ll be surprised by how many loyal customers will go out of their way to refer you business when there is a reward or acknowledgement in place.
In fact many loyal customers probably already refer you business but by creating a formal program you can push them along a possibly increase the number you’re already getting. Besides that it gives all your other customers an opportunity to get something for nothing.
It’s often said that a satisfied customer will tell up to three people about you and your business. So go the extra mile and then offer a customer incentive based referral program. You’ll boost your revenues, get more exposure, and create buzz almost immediately.
Sell One Item or Service At a Time
It seems counterintuitive but when you try to ram more than three items or services down your prospect’s throat they tend to make no decision rather than pick one. Look at some newspaper ads out there and you’ll see businesses selling five or six different things in that one ad.
Sell one item in the ad and build your sales copy around it. Appeal to that one main customer and see how well it does for you. If you’re afraid of doing just one then try more than one but test no more than three items in one advertisement or marketing piece.
The reason this works is because many people get confused when there are more options presented. There have been countless studies done and research shows when presented with too many decisions… they make no decision.
Here is a great book to check out. It’s called… Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions
Out Wit and Out Last Your Competitors
The competition is doing what everyone else is doing. They’re following the leader and looking inside of their own market for business and marketing ideas. It’s your job to look out side the box. Go outside of you industry and start trend setting for your market. Your marketing needs to stand out. If you’re doing what everyone else is, like your competitors, then you won’t stand out.
Try different things. Don’t be afraid to test and see what works. Try postcards, direct mail, online advertising, Facebook advertising, search marketing… Try it methodically and test everything. Use the results to enhance your overall marketing efforts. By doing this you may find your profits start to rise and your expenses start to drop.
Communicate with Your Customers and Prospects
While communication can be performed in a one way capacity it’s vitally important that you use two-way communications with your customers and prospects to uncover their needs. Using surveys is one method but it’s very impersonal. It’s much better if you can engage your prospects and customers either face-to-face or directly over the phone.
This allows you to create a personal caring environment. You’ll find out what they want, what gaps to fill, what you’re doing great and what you can do better. There is a slew of information to be gathered that you can use to out market your competition.
The best way to look at this is to consider what you want when you go to buy something. Do you want to have a personal experience or would you rather interact with robots. Use what you have in your personal toolbox to create a relationship with your prospects and customers. Not only will you build a loyal following you will be able to gather intelligence on your business most of your competitors have over looked.
Marketing your small business doesn’t have to be difficult. All it takes is a fresh set of eyes and a different view on things. Remember to test and analyze everything and take action. One of the worst things that can happen is that you get stagnant because you’re afraid to try something.
Enjoy and prosper,
PS- Don’t over analyze. If you can’t take an objective view… get a fresh set of eyes in that can help you identify hidden assets in your business.