So, you are about to start your own business. How exciting! Alternatively, perhaps you already have a part-time business and you would like to see it blossom into a full time venture. Well, every business – no matter how small or large – needs a strong marketing plan in order to succeed. Here are five tips that will help give you a leg up on the competition.
What makes you unique among your competitors? Is it your personalized service? Your pricing? What does your business offer that people cannot get elsewhere? If you do not know what you makes your business unique, then you need to come up with a specific angle that sets you apart. Be creative and think outside the box. Your specific niche is what you need to know in order to successfully market your business.
Your business needs to have an identity. A good logo design and a catchy slogan go a long way in helping give your business a “face” that people will remember. Do not just slap together a piece of clip art and some text on your own. If you do not already have one, hire a professional designer to create a logo and use it consistently on all your company materials like business cards, letterhead, etc. Good branding will ensure that people take your business seriously.
It seems simple enough that businesses have to grow in order to be profitable. However, how much should you expand? How quickly should you do it? The best way to answer these questions is to set reasonable goals for your business. Don’t let your ambition over exceed your resources. Set attainable monthly or quarterly goals for your business and keep striving to meet them. Once you start meeting your goals on a regular basis, then it is time to raise the bar.
Advertising and marketing go hand in hand. Where are you going to sell your product? Who are you selling it to? The days of just being able to buy ad space in the phone book, then sit back, and wait for the customers to roll in are long over. There are other options like online marketing, radio commercials and attending business networking events. Set a promotional budget you can afford and then figure out which ways are the best ways to reach your target audience.
Not only do you need to have goals for your business, but you have to set personal marketing goals as well. You have to commit to doing a certain amount of marketing each month. It may be that you attend two business-networking events each month and send out five sales letters, or you write three weekly blog posts and leave ten comments on other blogs. Whatever your preferred methods of promotion are, you consistently have to keep marketing your business.
Marketing does not have to be a chore; in fact, it can actually be a lot of fun to go out and spread the word about your business. Additionally, it is exciting to see your efforts pay off when you see new customers start coming. A strong marketing plan will help your business prosper and allow you to keep doing what you love.
About the Author: Jamey Vazguez is a marekting specialist who enjoys working with small businesses. She particularly enjoys working with entrepreneurs who are in the healthcare field.