Archive for January, 2018

5 Low Cost Marketing Strategies!

Small businesses do not have a lot of cash.  This is why they typically avoid marketing.  That’s a HUGE MISTAKE!  Managing marketing expenses is the SMART WAY to go.

 

START WITH STRATEGY.  The way to save money is to plan to save money.  What do I mean?  If you are going on a road trip and you understand how to take the most efficient route, then you will save time and money.  Efficiency in marketing saves you time and money.  Developing a strategy keeps on the right course to connect with the right customer who will buy the right product or service.

 

DEVELOP AD/Flier TEMPLATES.  I always inform my clients to create several ad/flier templates for various occasions.  Why?  You will constantly receive requests to place ads in publications, on websites and in souvenir booklets.  If you create the ad template in advance, then you will save money by not having to rush later.  Your ad template will instantly become a Return On Investment!

 

Use Social Media WISELY!  Social media is the wild card for most small businesses.  But, they struggle with how to utilize it effectively.    First, you should determine which platform works best for your company.  Then, you should put together a social media strategy that makes sense and connects with your target audience.  Finally, you can use a small ad budget to increase exposure to a global audience on social media.  On some platforms you can be more targeted for a special interest audience.

 

DIRECT MAIL is still a good option based on how you position your database.   For example, a child care should consider utilizing direct mail to send parents Easter postcards, summer safety tips, birthday cards and holiday gifts.  This would create loyalty throughout the year to its customer base.  It’s very strategic.  And it won’t cost a lot of money.

 

Internet Marketing, including e-blasts, newsletters and videos are very affordable to create.  However, once again, it goes back to a strategy and schedule.  If you use the marketing strategy to create a schedule, then you will save time by doing tasks in advance.  This will also save your company money.  E-blasts can be used for prospective and current customers.  Newsletters are great for establishing relationships within the community through stories and pertinent information.  Videos allow the company to ad personality to its brand visually.

 

The bottom line is the bottom line.  Keeping costs low is a mindset.  Marketing dollars are saved by creating efficiencies, working a strategy and utilizing tools effectively.

 

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

 

Although Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was not talking about entrepreneurship when he made this statement I believe it applies appropriately to the world of the small business owner.  We have to accept failure to experience success.

 

Optimism is probably the greatest asset and the greatest liability to small business dreamers.  We want to keep everything positive to produce energy to our company.  But we must also take the time to learn from the negative challenges to our business.  Don’t’ get too high and don’t get too low.  Keep the faith and learn lessons.  But never lose hope.  Have you ever felt like losing hope with your business?

Small Business Wins lead to Big Brand Victory!

Small business success is all about small wins.  And small business owners need to have the patience to celebrate those victories in a timely manner.  In this day and age of instant gratification, our small companies suffer immensely.  The internet has caused the perception of “going viral” and inflated the myth of an overnight success.  When the truth of the matter is that several small wins make one big splash in business.

 

Happy & Loyal Customers.  When customers are happy your business is easy to run.  If you can simply train your customers to use your product or service effectively then your business will start to run itself.  Take the franchise approach to building your business.  Anyone can run it without you.  Remember that the brands that create loyal customers typically outlive their founders.  Apple, McDonald’s and many other brand live long beyond the lifespan of their founding fathers.

Community Support.  The community engagement for small businesses helps create a synergy where everyone wants to work together for a bigger cause.  If a small business becomes engrained in a community, the people will recommend customers to support the brand.  When you get the community involved as a stakeholder in your business, they feel responsible for the success or failure of your company.

 

Employee Excitement!  When employees show excitement, the customers and the community gets excited about the small business.  The owner of the company is not the most important person in the business.  The employees carry more weight than they can imagine.  When they are showing the passion for the business, everyone wants to join in.  Look at Disney.  They encourage their employees to enjoy the work that they do on a daily basis.  This attitude permeates through the community and to its customers of all ages.  Small businesses can consider this a small victory.

 

The challenge with small wins is that it takes time to build relationship with loyal customers, a community and employees.  And it takes a commitment to maintain those principles.  However, it has been proven by the best brands in the world that this is the method of success.  Small wins lead to big victory in business.

5 Signs your Marketing is failing!

There are many signs that your marketing is failing.  But let’s have a little fun with this one.

 

When CASH FLOW has come to a screeching halt you know that your marketing is not working.  Marketing is like fuel to the gas tank of your business.  If you don’t fill up your marketing tank you will get stuck on the side of the road.  Invest in your marketing fuel to get the right results.

 

 

If you start thinking more about TRYING TO SELL your products and services instead of providing value to the customer, then you know that your marketing is failing.  Convincing customers that they need your service is being too pushy.  You need to keep talking about the benefits to the customer.  Let them make the decision.

 

When you are FISHING for ideas and solutions then it’s a direct sign that your marketing is not working properly.  The customer will always tell you if you are putting your bait in the right pond.  If they are not biting you either have the wrong bait or you are in the wrong region for the fish that you are trying to catch.

 

CONFUSED CUSTOMERS are a good sign that your marketing message is not on point.  If you keep sending messages that are not clear to your customer, then they will show you in the numbers.  If customers come to you understanding your brand, then you will send them down the right street.   They will keep coming back and making more purchases.  Point them in one direction; The right one!

 

 

When customers ARE NOT coming into your store or buying your service then your marketing is not working.  You may be telling customers to not come into your shop, website or company because you have not made them feel welcome.  You have to show your customers the love from the beginning.