Running your own small business often means your budget is tight and one of the first cuts business owners make is in the marketing department. It is, however, possible to run successful marketing campaigns on the tightest of budgets, as long as you know what you’re doing, that is. Finding the time to spend on promoting your brand can also be difficult. Many of you reading this will already be responsible for three or more areas of your business and adding marketing as well just adds to the pressure. With an effective marketing campaign, your business will get the attention it deserves and here are 5 tips to get you started.
Focus Your Attention on the Most Powerful Marketing Channels
There are an almost endless number of marketing channels to choose from, which makes things very difficult for the small business owner. Trying to use them all would be a complete waste of time, money and effort. Experimenting is probably the best way to find the most effective way to market your business but where to start? For a business-to-business service provider, the most popular channel for connecting with potential buyers is LinkedIn. It’s also a great channel for publishing and promoting articles and company news. Instagram is going to be better for someone running a photography, crafts or fashion business, together with local SEO.
Email marketing is one of the most effective marketing strategies if you want to stay in touch with your customers. You might have thought they would find emails a bother, but an amazing 83% of people admit to preferring it as a channel for receiving promotions from a brand they trust. With the help of the right tools, you can integrate email software with your website. Collecting email addresses of potential customers is made easy with website pop-ups and contact forms. Once you’ve got a list of potential customers on your email marketing list, you can work on building a relationship with them through your campaigns.
Work on Improving the Customer Experience
All power rests with the customer whether you like it or not. They have the power to make or break any kind of business, so it makes sense to keep them on your side. Improving the customer experience means they’re going to choose you rather than go with your competitor. The focus seems to have shifted away from what you provide or offer and is instead directed toward how you provide or offer it and what else you can give your customers. It can be difficult figuring out how to deliver amazing customer experience.
The first step is to know your customer. If you don’t know your customers, how are you going to fulfill their needs? Then you need to think about how you want your customers to feel when they interact with your brand. When you’ve answered these questions, you can move on to making your experience the best possible.
Customers like to feel a company they’re doing business with understands their needs. That’s why it’s important to customize your experience wherever possible. A good example of this is to send email marketing campaigns to customers based on the items they’ve purchased from your company. Include birthday and anniversary greetings and promotions. If you remember their purchasing preferences, you’ll be able to make suggestions when they visit your website or store.
The aim is to make your customers happy, and another good way to do that is to solve their problems before they happen. Being able to proactively solve problems and stay one step ahead of your customers means you will have created a seamless customer experience and stay in control of it at all times.
Clean Up Your Presence and Make Sure It’s Consistent
If you’ve been in business for a number of years, it’s likely you’ve already got an online presence but how accurate is it? Do you have any social media accounts you no longer use or blogs that are outdated? Have you changed your branding several times and not done anything about the old information online? What about your NAP information? NAP stands for name, address, and phone number and it’s important to be consistent and accurate across the internet. As well as it being listed on your own website, it’s also in a variety of local listings. If any of this information is incorrect or inconsistent, it can affect your organic search rankings and make it more difficult for potential customers to find you. You can find out more easily online, and read more here for some guidance.
Invest in a Social Media Strategy
Are you currently using social media for your promotions? Were you aware that this isn’t a very effective way to market your business and can actually turn them off and make them tune out your posts? Your customers are more likely to take notice if you provide valuable content for your target audience and focus more on the social aspect of social media. If you engage with your audience via social media, you’re building trust and brand loyalty rather than simply advertising the latest deals.
Also, remember that the more active you are on social media, the higher the probability that the right potential customer will see you. Create conversations, tell stories and keep it on the brand.
Consider Visual Content Marketing
They say content is king and the written word can definitely be very powerful. For 2019, however, visual content is bigger and better. It has been predicted that more than three-quarters of businesses are going to be relying on it very heavily as part of their marketing efforts. Visual, in particular, video content is proving to be a very powerful way to get your message across, have a wider reach and be more engaging for your visitors. You don’t have to be the next JJ Abrams either. It’s possible to shoot videos using your smartphone and edit them using one of the many free apps available online.
With these 5 tips, you’re ready to promote your business in 2019 and beyond.
For a local business, one of the more difficult things you will have to do is market for your business and make the best possible impression with your audience. When it comes to marketing for a local business you are limited to the reach of your venture and this is why it is time for you to think about some creative methods to make an impression this year. Today we are taking a look at some of the things which you need to do this year.
1.Host a Forum
When you are marketing a business for a local town or city it isn’t the same as working for an international brand. There are a lot of differences when it comes to the way we think about marketing for a business like this, and the other businesses in your area will be more likely to be open to help you with your plan. By creating a Facebook group or forum for local business owners, you can brainstorm ways to market yourself and also ways which you can help each other gain exposure and work together. Have a think of doing this and you can create a collaborative team who will help each other with their work.
2. Trade Shows
One sure fire way to make a lasting impression on your audience is to see them face to face and talk to them. A great way which you can do this is to look for local trade shows on google and other events and make sure to attend as a brand and even attend as an individual. This is something which can have a big impact on you as a brand because you will be able to speak to people in person and form those real bonds with them.
Collaborating with other businesses is a huge thing if you want to be successful as a brand, and one of the ways which you can do this is speak to other local businesses at a trade show and see how you can work together. By coming up with an arrangement where you work to refer each other to customers can make a big impact on your success as a brand and it will allow you to gain a whole new audience.
If you want to work with another business and take things even further today, one of the things which you can do is create a product or a service in collaboration with another business. This is a great way to mutually benefit you both and you can gain a lot of followers and supporters from doing this, which is a super handy thing to do as a small business.
5. Hand Out Flyers
A super simple and cost effective way for you to make an impression with your followers would be to hand out flyers and make sure that you can grab the attention of people in the area. You can even ask local shops and buildings to let you display a flyer or two on their counters or walls. It might cost you a little money but it will be worth it for the local exposure you will get.
6. Send Handwritten Letters
If you are a small business starting out in your local town you will also want to think about making an impression and showing some unique appreciation to your customers. For example for a local artist, when people order your artwork, you can include a handwritten letter in the package which expresses how grateful you are for the support and maybe a little anecdote about how you created the piece of art in question. People really appreciate it when you add the effort into things and this is something which will propel you above anyone else in the area.
7. Have a Suggestion Box
As a new business in your local area you will want to have a think about ways which you can improve your services and products to fit your audience. One of the ways you can find out which changes to make is to create a suggestion box which will allow your customers to share their opinions with you. You can then take a look at this and use your knowledge to create a business which pleases as many people as you possibly can.
8. Use Business Cards
Business cards are always a great thing to use as a small business, and if you can create stunning cards you will be able to make a great impression with your audience and this will have a profound effect on your ability to succeed. Giving out your business card with your products and after providing a service will allow your business card to make its way into people’s houses and this can help you in the future as they will choose you the next time they need a product or service.
9. Use Postcards
One of the things you can do when marketing for a local business is use Google Maps Marketing and create a radius around your location to reach all of the people within a certain number of miles of you. One of the things which can be great is to create postcards to show off your business or share a promotion and post these to all of the people in your local area. It is cheap to send things with the post and it can be an effective marketing tool.
10. Write Articles
A blog can be a great way to pull the interest of people in your local area and beyond and it will allow your business to gain a larger online presence. Think about creating a blog and starting to write articles about your products and things which you are passionate about. Sparking a conversation online like this will gain you some exposure and help you to gain followers.
11. Hang Posters
On a tree, at a pub, in a bar… find as many places as you can in your local area where you will be allowed to hang a poster to share an event or promotion. This is a pretty cheap thing for you to do and it can make all the difference for you if you are trying to gain a real audience and some new customers this year.
Join in at a community fair or a fundraiser and make sure that you become a recognised part of the community. If for example you are a company who makes cakes and other treats, you could have a stall at the local fair and give your profits to charity, and you could provide snacks and treats to athletes after a sporting event in the local area. Showing your face and being able to show that you care is great for your brand.
As a business one of the things which you can do is sponsor a sporting event or a team in your local area. This is something which can be great for you because you will be helping out some local people but you will also be able to get your logo onto team shirts and marketing which increases your brand exposure.
14. Host a Giveaway
If you have a new product coming out which you want to drum up interest for, a simple way to do this is host a giveaway where you will give one lucky winner a free product. This contest can be done in whatever way you want and it will make all the difference to you as a brand as you start to gain exposure in the local area and beyond.
15. Public Speaking
For a new company who is looking to gain some exposure in the local area, one thing which can be helpful for you to do is speak in public and visit local community spaces. You could host an event at a library where you share your ideas for your business and show off products, visit schools to give demonstrations and even open spaces such as parks. There are many ways for you to gain exposure in the local area and this can be a huge benefit to you as a brand.
16. Get Social
Social media is a huge part of our lives and if you want to be as successful as you can this year, nailing your social media presence is a must. Take a look at some of the ways that you can share hints on social media and gain a following of local people who are loyal to you. You can join local Facebook groups to share things about your business and get advice, and you can share your day to day Work on social media stories to help people feel more involved in your life. Anything you can share about yourself and your company on social media will help people feel closer to you and this will help your business to succeed in the end.
If your business has experienced a dip in sales, the first thing you must do is research why this might be. Even if it is seasonal, it’s a good idea to get a sense of what can be done to give yourself a boost to make up for the temporary loss. Researching your company’s weak spots is incredibly useful not only for sluggish sales but also to ensure your company’s longevity in the future.
Ask for feedback
There’s nothing more irritating than experiencing a dip in sales, particularly if you’re not entirely certain as to why. One of the biggest focuses any business should have is their engagement with their customers. Good customer engagement and service will leave visitors feeling as if they were listened to and valued, rather than completely undervalued. Asking your visitors and customers for feedback might illuminate some problems with your branding or sales technique you didn’t realize you had.
Develop a marketing strategy
At the center of any business’s sales strategy should be their marketing strategy: this will affect how your business is perceived and how far it reaches among online and real-life audiences. While it’s always good to rely on customer engagement and service to ensure good word-of-mouth, marketing ensures that your reputation spreads much further. Using specialized auto sales events can not only help with your campaign but also hold unique events to promote your business, generating sales through networking and direct communication.
Add discounts and freebies
If you have a solid customer base and are either looking to retain their loyalty or bring in a new swathe of visitors, offering unique discounts can help drive this. It’s said that offering complimentary services can help drive sales and attracts brand new clients to your business.
Showcase your benefits
What can people truly gain by using your service instead of anyone else’s? It’s been found that customers are more drawn to specific benefits rather than actual product features. As part of your new marketing strategy, it’s a good idea to focus on this, rather than what each product specifically features. Driving this message across your social media platforms and in person should help promote how you, as a company, can personally benefit visitors.
How you price your products should involve a little research. If your business has nearby competitors, you may want to offer a price that is a little more affordable to passing customers. Providing the same service that is much cheaper will encourage people to spend their money with you, rather than a pricier competitor. Similarly, however, if you are undervaluing a product, increasing the cost of it may help to boost your revenue without a solid push on sales.
In order to drive sales, you will first need to put yourself in the shoes of the customer. You’ll want to reassess how your company appeals to the everyday person and what can be improved. At the center of this should be a robust marketing and sales strategy.
Most people can do business in the United States, whether they are located or based abroad or not. However, there are advantages that come with owning a U.S. based business. It can be easier to gain buyer confidence when you own a domestic U.S. based company as well as when all business takes place within the continental United States. At the same time, anyone who is not a U.S. citizen will have a harder time establishing a business here. Read these tips for starting a business in the United States long before you become a naturalized citizen.
Consult with and Retain an Attorney
Immigration in the United States is neither a fast or cheap process. You can count on it taking a minimum of two to three years to become a citizen, and that is only if you are on the fast track. Most people interested in going into business are unwilling to wait years before they can get started domestically. An immigration lawyer can tell you more about business and employment laws in the U.S. and how you might be impacted because of your current immigration status. There are visas available for people wanting to work in the U.S. legally. Getting permission or authorization to set up a business here simply requires you to have your attorney file the right petitions and give you sound advice.
Start Your Business with a U.S. Citizen
Beyond needing to have certain types of identification in order to even be able to apply for a business loan in the U.S., banks follow a fairly rigid structure. In many ways, getting business credit is even harder than building personal credit. In fact, business credit is largely based on personal business credit scores, and if you are a non-U.S. citizen, your credit file is going to be fairly sparse. You can get your business off the ground easier if you partner up with a United States citizen. Yes, going into business with someone else always comes with risks, but this would be the case regardless of where you decided to establish your company. In the event that you want to get faster financing for your company through traditional means, partner with a trusted friend or relative who is a U.S. citizen.
Pay Attention to Changes in Immigration Law
In the U.S., immigration reform is a topic that is constantly being talked about. Each election cycle, there are promises of rules being changed and processes being revamped. While a lot of this talk is aimed at illegal immigration, there are various examples of valid visa holders being impacted by sweeping reforms. The entire way that the H1B1 visa works is impacting hundreds of thousands of visa holders, their spouses and families. Now that ICE is targeting more businesses, employers have to be even more careful during the hiring process. Just know where you stay immigration wise and talk to a legal professional about how any changes in law will have an effect on your business.
If you want to establish a business in the U.S., first learn if you authorized to do so. You might need to submit some forms and even wait a few weeks from the government for an official response. At the end of the day, if you ensure that you have lawfully formed your business, it can never be taken from you.
As a business owner, it’s only natural that you want your company to be successful. However, overthinking and setting unattainable goals can have a negative impact on your mental health. Here are a few ways to help you stop thinking negatively about your business.
Set Realistic Goals
Whether you’re a fully established business or you are just starting out, it’s important to set goals that are attainable. If you try and take on too much at once, this can cause your mind to go into overdrive, leaving you with negative thoughts. You must remember that in order for your business to stay successful, you should be realistic with what you can achieve. Success doesn’t happen overnight so there’s no shame in starting off slow, which gives you time to work on a business plan that can keep your company on track.
Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
While a little competition can be beneficial to your business, overthinking and comparing your business to others can have a damaging effect. Instead of looking at what your competitors are doing, you should focus on your own company and think of ways that can help your business stand out from the crowd. Whether a rival business has more clients or interest, you should focus on what you can do to help improve your company.
It’s important to be grateful for what your business has already achieved. It can be easy to forget about all your past accomplishments, and instead, constantly strive for more. You need to get into a zone where you can be patient and happy with your work output. Make sure to enjoy the journey that you are on and have some fun along the way too. Being thankful and proud of the success you have already experienced can make a huge difference. Make sure to check out Raymond Neuberger where you can find more information on positive thinking and how to destroy negative thoughts.
Break Your Goals Down
Similar to achieving realistic goals, you should break down what you have set out to achieve, which can help you enormously. If you are focused on reaching some big number, the chances are you are going to feel exhausted, overworked, and full of negative thoughts. If you aren’t working to the best of your ability, it’s likely that you won’t reach the goals you have in place.
Have Some Time for Yourself
The pressures of running a business can take its toll. Therefore, allowing yourself some time away from the office to do a hobby or some exercise can do wonders for your mental and physical health. Having work on your mind 24/7 will drive you mad, so whether you want to try out a sport or go for a short trip away, you need to remember that your health comes first, so finding ways to reduce stress can be hugely beneficial.
Maintaining a positive attitude towards your work can help your business stay on the right track. Everybody makes mistakes so try to learn from where you go wrong rather than throwing in the towel. Keeping upbeat and having motivation can go a long way and ensure your business remains successful.