Two immediate challenges small businesses face are time and budget.
Whether you have just started up your business or have an established business, make time for marketing activities. Don’t leave it until work is running dry. Activities such as website, blogs, social media and planning campaigns need your time as much as any other activity, so factor time in regular chunks so that while you are earning your income you are constantly keeping a funnel of activity going. Don’t be shy about asking for referrals. Make time to participate at networking meet ups, for the price of a coffee you can talk about your business to other business owners. Get creative with correspondence that you share, put a link to them on your email signature. Whether you send your invoices by email or post, can you sign post your customer to a new product or service? What worked one year may or may not work the next and is dependant upon knowing your audience and their behaviours. Never miss an opportunity to do regular market research.
Another challenge for business owners particularly in start up phase is that of having little or no budget. There are a myriad of activities that can be done with little or no budget. Social media is a great start. Having is a website presence is a must and does not have to break the bank. There are plenty of easy to use website platforms that are cost effective. Collaborating with other businesses is a great way of sharing the costs and increasing your client reach.
This year alone we have already seen that Facebook has made massive changes that impacts every Facebook page owner and this poses huge challenges for small business owners who predominantly promote their business through this medium alone. Business owners need to be creative and adaptive. Small business owners have the ability to be more adaptive when compared to larger businesses and it is imperative that your marketing mix is a mix.
The more you are able to accept that spending both time and money on marketing the more open minded you can be to a variety of activities. The art of marketing is to invest in activities that are going to pay for themselves and bring in new business. The more defined you are about your audience and prospective client base the better you can fine tune how you are going to reach them.
Keeping it socially simple