Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Four simple marketing tips for small businesses

As everyone knows, marketing is a key part of any company’s arsenal if it is to succeed in today’s world of instant communication and fierce competition. But whilst it is certainly essential to have a business marketing strategy in place, you don’t have to overcomplicate things – particularly if you are a small or fledgling business with a limited budget for promotion. 

Here are five simple and relatively low-cost tips to get you started:

  • Strategic advertising: Big corporations will often have huge advertising budgets for both television and national newspapers or magazines, not to mention online. But if you are a small company you won’t have the capital for this so you have to think a little more creatively. Place adverts in local papers or on local website and remember that it is more effective to place smaller, cheaper adverts more frequently than to splash out on a big advert that you can only afford to place once a month. Also, design your advertising to help bring in more sales by including some kind of special offer to draw in the customers.

  • Email marketing: Using the internet is a perfect form of business marketing for small companies because it is cheap and you can use it as often as you like. The crucial thing here is to compile a detailed database on your customers so you really know which products will be suited to them. Then you can work on sending out targeted marketing emails which are specifically tailored to their needs. Send out regular e-newsletters as well as this serves both as a reminder that your company is still out there, and as a way of keeping customers informed of new products or offers.

  • Professional website: This is so crucial: your website is your biggest marketing tool and yet so many companies neglect it or allow it so look amateurish. It is worth it to hire a really good web designer to put together an eye-catching and simple-to-use site. Yes, it will cost more but every customer visiting your site will be impressed by its professional look. Once you have your website, update it regularly with new content to keep it fresh and current – another thing many companies fail to do.

  • Joint promotions: Another useful marketing strategy if your budget is small is to team up with other small companies who are not in direct competition with you, but complement your business in some way further up the chain. For example, if you are a catering company, perhaps you might want to contact an events organiser or wedding planner and offer to publicise their services in exchange for them recommending yours. This is a simple and, more importantly, completely free way of generating new business.
If you are a small or medium sized business you may not have the budget or time to spend a great deal of money on your marketing strategy. However, every company needs a marketing strategy of some kind and luckily there are many simple and low-cost methods you can use to get you started.

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