For many small businesspeople, uncertainty can be so unnerving it leads to fear. But fear can be healthy if used as a motivator to act.
And act you should. Especially, in marketing.
In small business marketing, here are the eight best practices:
1. Your first priority every day should be to market your business.
Avoid complacency. Even on the bad-hair days, don’t let up. Even when revenue is good and you’re really busy, don’t get complacent.
The point is this – decreasing your marketing investment to save money will hurt you both short and long term. Be relentless. Attack, attack and attack. Even the secrets to success in a tepid economy: Expand your marketing.
2. For cost-effectiveness, continually evaluate your marketing and related internal factors.
Evaluate your messages. You should have five influential value propositions with a three to five word branding slogan.
Don’t forget a logo. It should effectively tell your story and be simple.
Don’t forget a favicon a small-business must for instant credibility – small enough to be condensed in 16 x 16 pixels for your Internet identity.
If the ROI is insufficient, find out why and use an alternative. That goes for using the right mediums, too. Research what’s working and what isn’t.
Make changes where necessary, including in customer service. Overall, think 1930s for business success. Why? Consumer attitudes are changing.
3. Strive to reach your target five times.
In messaging, frequency counts with quality. In most cases, the buying decision is reached after the prospect experiences five positive messages.
For many small businesspeople, the uncertainty can be so unnerving it leads to fear. But fear can be healthy if used as a motivator to act.
4. Use a diversified, integrated approach.
Whenever possible, remember a single marketing medium should not eat up the entire budget. You should have a marketing mix of public relations and paid advertising.
5. Have a social conscience.
Don’t under-estimate the power of cause-related marketing cause-related marketing because it can get you a double-digit percentage in higher sales.
And it helps to be environmentally conscious, which means you’ll be able to expand your customer base by branding your business as green.
6. Get the right marketing help.
Enlist the aid of an objective expert who is focused on getting you an ROI. Use the right mediums, which might not be what your gut-instinct tells you about products, pricing and promotion.
Small business owners often make the mistake of spending money in the wrong places, not as investments in where their best prospects are. Startups especially have to preserve cash with the right steps.
7. Keep focused on winning the gold medal.
Many small business owners, especially startups, are too-concerned about the competition. Remember, you’re in a marathon race. Don’t be obsessive about looking over your shoulder to beat your competitors.
8. Be defensive – protect your turf.
In all sports, strong defenses win championships. Remember how much time and energy it took for you to get your best customers. Be a good steward of your assets to generate profits.
When faced with a choice – whether to chase new business or to take care of lucrative, repeat customers – remember loyalty is usually rewarded and leads to good word-of-mouth advertising.
Stay focused for success. Good luck!
From the Coach’s Corner, related information:
Want More Business? Build Trust with Consumers…Here’s How — With consumers trying to cope with information overload – you will increase sales with long-term customer loyalty – if you build trust by using best practices.
Consultants – 5 Strategies to Build Trust with Clients — The five strategies that enhance relationships between consultants and clients.
Your Dream is to be a Consultant? Here’s How to Develop Your Vision Plan. — So you’ve got the entrepreneurial bug. You have nothing against your boss, but it’s time for you to run the show. Here’s how to develop a vision plan.
“Business has only two functions – marketing and innovation.”
Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.
Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at www.freedigitalphotos.net