How to Market Your Business

Many businesses are set up with the grandest of intentions and on the surface it would appear that they have every chance of success. Yet many of these businesses fail within the first twelve months of operation. There are, of course, many reasons for this. Factors include lack of capital (money) and not setting appropriate business foundations. Another common factor is a lack of marketing.

Some people assume that marketing is the brochures and the web-site that is set up for a small business. However, marketing is much, much more than that. Marketing is everything that you do to sell a product and retain a customer base. This can include things such as follow-up service calls, thank-you letters or a free barbeque for clients.

Regardless of how you choose to market your business, your marketing strategy should be designed to appeal to your target consumer. It’s important as a business owner to understand that it’s just as imperative to keep clients coming back as it is to attract new ones. On that premise, your marketing plan will need to be about more than just a brochure.

Here are some suggested marketing tips (pick the ones that are suitable for your business).

1) A Brochure

Distribute a brochure to your target consumers. This can be done via a mail out, letter drop, or as an insert in the local paper

2) Yellow Pages

Advertise in the Yellow Pages , people often let their fingers do the walkingor these days, their mouse do the clicking. If you can afford it do an ad for the Yellow Pages instead of just a listing.

3) Web Site

In today’s technologically aware age, the majority of people will do an internet search for the type of business you are operating. In that respect, it may be beneficial to have a web site listing your services/products and how to contact you. As your business expands so can your website.

4) Business Cards

Give them out to friends and family. Every time you purchase something from someone give them one of your business cards, the check out girl, the guy who does your plumbing etc. Sure, you may be wasting some of them, but the exposure far out weighs the cost of getting them printed.

5) Networking

Keep an eye out for any networking opportunities that may come up either through structured networking evenings set up by recruitment agencies etc. or via public meetings, council meetings and the like.

6) Build a Relationship

Get to know your customers by name. Keep a client file with each customer’s details and what services/products they usually purchase or use. Every six months or so send them a letter reminding them of your services and how much you appreciate their business.

7) Loyalty Program

Set up a loyalty program where the customer, after utilizing your business a certain number of times or after spending a certain amount of money, is rewarded. The reward could be a discount off the next product purchased or a free gift.

8) Phone Calls

After the customer has purchased a product or service of you, you could ring them to ensure they were satisfied with the service or the product. This makes the customer feel that their feedback is important. Alternatively, send them a letter thanking them for their business.

9) Newsletter

Distribute a newsletter. This could be either annually, quarterly or whatever time frame suits your business. It can contain information relevant to your business product or service. The newsletter serves to keep your business at the forefront of the consumers mind when choosing their suppliers.

Marketing your business is an ongoing task that requires diligence and patience. Successful marketing will help to ensure that you have a successful business.

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