Small business marketing is just like any other type of marketing, despite what many people (including so-called marketing consultants) will tell you. There’s no big secret to marketing a small business, except you need to remember marketing is a process and not an event. To market a small business effectively, you need to stop thinking of marketing as something you do once every now and again, and begin to think of it as something you need to do constantly. Many business will market themselves only when they realise the phone has stopped ringing, or the shop is empty. But this is the worst strategy to follow, and once you realise marketing is a process, your business will be much better for it, so so will your bank balance.
Three strategies for an effective small business marketing process
1. Create a marketing plan. If you really want to have a marketing process, you need a plan to follow. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but it should detail what you need to do every month, week, and sometimes every day. In effect, you are creating a marketing calendar, and then a plan to follow for the stuff that needs to be done regularly. This can be anything from a plan to send out a piece of direct mail or to run an ad in a magazine. Make the plan and stick to it.
2. Stick to your marketing plan. As mentioned above, you need a plan, and sometimes this can mean doing some marketing every single day. In fact, having a daily routine for your marketing is extremely effective, because it means you’re doing something constantly. One daily habit to get into is to send out an email to your customer list, since this can have a massive return on investment (ROI). Even better it’s quick to do, and cheap (almost free).
3. Keep going. You have to remember the effects of marketing don’t show themselves immediately, and the longer you do it, the more chance you have of success. You also need to remember the effects will increase over time, until each bit of marketing you do stands on the stuff you’ve already done, and that almost always makes for some very healthy profits.
This may seem a simple strategy to follow, but you may well be astounded at the results you get if you put it into practice and keep going. Just doing a few hours a week can make a big difference to your business, and within a year or so the effects can be incredible. The overall lesson is: don’t leave it until things get bad. Do it at all times (even in the good times) and watch your business thrive.