In USA alone, workforce employed by the small businesses constitutes for approximately half of the current working population. “Approximately 543,000 new businesses get started each month (but more businesses shut down than start up each month)” and “7 out of 10 new businesses survive at least 2 years, half at least 5 years, a third at least 10 years and a quarter stay in business 15 years or more,” as per recent figures by Forbes business magazine.
These figures raises an important question- how an emerging business unit can promote itself with a limited budget on advertising and promotion to get desired results. You have spent years or months in the making of your product so there are no two ways about it that you love it or don’t love it. However, getting others to like your product, to see it in the same light as you do, could be a tedious task.
This is where marketing comes into picture to promote your product and creating your brand. With evolving business scenarios it is not difficult today to bring attention to your product, however there are some points that every small business should keep in mind when they give their business promotion a go-ahead.
Identify and Understand your Audience:
First and foremost thing of marketing is to establish for what type of audience your product is proposed. You have created it keeping in mind to be intended for a specific use, right? Once, you know who is your audience, you would know how to fetch it and the right platform to promote it.
This is of utmost important today. Even with a limited advertising budget, there are so many things you can do to promote your small business online. A fully functioning, detailed information website, develop an app that could share information on your services. Make a social media page on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. Get professional services to admin them and you can also take help from family & friends to promote it. All these are great mediums to spread a word about your new business and services.
Online Directory Listing:
The first thing user these days do while searching for a service is Google search. So, ensure that you enlist your business with online directories like Google Places, Yelp and Yahoo. There are other options as well. Yellow pages is another popular service to put your company’s contact no. and address, it offers both paid and free listings.
The reviews from customers lets you know how you and your business is faring and what steps can be chosen to improve further. You can engage with the customers and respond to the comments, and if you think there is an unreasonable feedback you can dispute it.
When a small business is starting out, it could be difficult to make a place between the existing bigwigs of the market. To create place for yourself and for people to believe in your product or offerings, start out by distributing free samples or demonstrations or you can also give attractive gifts with your product. Nothing catches the attention of a buyer than the word “free” or “free-gift”.
Value your Customers:
There is a simple customer service rule that applies to every small or big business. One happy customer tells one, and one unhappy customer shares with ten other customers. Be attentive to your customers’ grievance or a happy experience listen to them intently. Giving goodwill discounts, gift cards or simply asking for recommendation from your happy customers is a great promotion idea for an emerging business.
Actively Brand your Business:
Assuming that your business has a name and logo already, try flashing it whenever you get a chance. Place a correctly formatted logo on the company’s merchandise, on your official and personal email signature etc., wherever you deem it appropriate.
In the beginning, applying all of these could be tedious and with an emerging business you don’t want any liabilities. it’s better to master each of these techniques one by one. As they say, the first impression is the last impression therefore, it’s important that you tread very carefully. Be thoughtful and strategic when it comes to advertising a small business.