29 Ways To Grow Your Small Business With Marketing
Congratulations on the successful establishment of your business.
Now, establishing a small business is not an end in itself. I know you established it to grow from small to big.
Marketing is one of the ways to get the most out of your business. Marketing, according to the eleventh edition of the Concise Oxford English Dictionary, simply means ‘the action or business of promoting and selling products or services’.
Products and services cover all you do in your business. Making them grow is a sure-fire way to grow your small business.
Unless you are lucky enough to have a large amount of capital for your start-up, it’s highly unlikely that you will have enough money to spend on marketing.
You may be spending all of your time building your company but if you don’t market it properly, nobody may know whether or not it exists.
However, having a robust budget isn’t the only requirement for effective marketing. The good news – I have a few ways you can grow your small business with marketing.
These ways, as you would see, are easy to implement and are quite proven to be effective. If you want to help yourself here, then you need to check out the below tips.
Without further ado, join me as I take you through ways to do marketing the right way and make your small business grow.
The importance of planning cannot be overemphasized. It is said that when someone fails to plan, he has plans to fail.
Failure to plan your marketing might lead to wasted resources. Adequate planning is needed in marketing. Ensure you create your marketing goals and devise a means to achieve those goals.
You might have to review your marketing goals over and over again to keep track of your progress.
2. Gather marketing information
What determines your business growth rate is the amount of relevant information you have and how much of it you apply.
Get informed. Learn from books about marketing that relates to your kind of business or industry.
You can gather information too from professional articles and bulletins. Use the information you have gathered to your advantage.
3. Solidify your Brand
You have to make sure you have a solid concept for the business you run. This is one of the first steps to take to let your customers know exactly who you are or what services you’re rendering.
If you are able to carry out a brand strategy, then you will be able to boost the potential of your company and also find marketing easier too.
It’s also helpful to determine why you are unique and what sets you apart from the competition overall.
If you have a manufacturing business, you could donate some of your products free of charge. If your business renders services, you can render free services for a period or to a particular niche.
Pro bono and freebies are examples of services and products donation. It is not only limited to customers. You can also give back to your community by donations.
By the way, most of your customers are from your community.
5. Build a website
Most small businesses make the mistake of not having a functional website. You must have a website which is always updated.
There is no use having a dormant website. It is quite easy and profitable to have an interactive website with professionally written contents that are published frequently.
This alone will not only attract customers but it sure will ensure your old customer stays with the business.
6. Make use of Social media marketing
Since the advent of social media, online marketing has been making a recognizable impact on business.
The social media market has been used by most businesses to break new grounds and reach a wider range of people.
It is a very cost-effective way your market your small business. It is also easier for you to represent your business well.
7. Place online Ad
In this digital age, online advertisement (shortened to Ads) is the best bet to reach a vast audience.
Online Ads are so much more effective since they can be targeted at a particular audience. The Ads can be customized to fit any age group, social, cultural or economic region.
This is the reason you must adopt this to grow your business. It guarantees results. You can also advertise on a blog that has the kind of audience you want to reach.
8. Go for E-mail marketing
This method of marketing is also effective and it cost next to nothing.
You can send electronic newsletters, bulletins, manuals, and brochures to your contact list for free.
With email marketing, it is easier to reach corporate bodies and individuals.
9. Host a contest
A lot of big businesses do it, so why not you? You can have a scaled-down contest if you cannot afford a big one. For example, you can organize a hackathon if you are in the tech business.
You should also know that the contest need not be directly related to your business. You can have an eating competition while your business is all about household material.
Just like planning and organizing events, you can partner with other businesses to make it bigger especially if you cannot do it all by yourself.
10. Create your business newsletters
This is a bulletin you write to a particular group of your customers. It is a cost-effective way for you to communicate regularly with your customers.
The contents of the newsletter must be informative, digestible and well written. You increase the chances of your newsletter opened and read when the information contained in it is relevant to your customers.
Your business needs a network of good people to flourish. You need to connect with the right people which range from employees to customers. You can network online through a lot of social networking platforms.
An example of such a platform is LinkedIn where you can connect to other professionals. You should also attend networking events to meet other professionals face to face.
I can assure you, face to face meeting is usually more successful to build a sound network. Why not search for networking around you and in your industry –local and international.
12. Create a blog
Blog, a place where you are in full control of how you paint your business. Blogging can go a long way in branding your business.
Encourage your blog readers to interact with the blog with questions which you should answer promptly.
An active blog with good and easy-to-read content promotes your business and website rank in search engines. Your business will also be more visible to customers when they search online.
13. Build your relationship
As you network with people and gain new contacts, there is a need for you to build trust and rapport.
If you only win new customers without having a solid plan to keep them, it might just be a wasted effort.
To do this, you can send out complimentary emails that have appropriate etiquettes, seasonal texts, birthday messages, put a call through, and other general follow-ups.
14. Magnify what makes your business different
You might think only big businesses can create a unique marketing style. It is as easy for a small business to do too. Be different in your approach to marketing your business.
This will create a unique brand for your business. You should magnify what distinguish your business, products and services from others. Let people know what your business stands for.
15. Have a Charity
Charity is the way “big businesses” make themselves known and remain relevant. It is a good avenue to display the business when people have let their guards down. Charitable events need not be something so big or expensive.
You can organize something small in your neighbourhood to a specific market group like an educational institution (or any other relevant institution).
You can also build a successful partnership with bigger businesses to organize the event or you can sponsor a part of a bigger charity event.
16. Divide your market
Create sectors and subsectors in the market you serve. Divisions help you to target a particular group with your products appropriately.
You also have the advantage of placing adverts to target a particular set of customers.
Adapt your advertisement, handbills, and flyers to match each division. This will not only ensure that your marketing is effective, but will also make sure you tailor your service to meet each division.
17. Choose your Niche
Although your products might appeal to the masses, this might present a problem for you in terms of marketing. The more customers you try to reach, the more money it will cost you and the harder it will be for you to pull everything off.
If you want to help yourself here, then you need to try modifying your niche such that you can reach each target group.
This may cost you a lot of research but if you carefully plan out your budget then there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to come out on top.
Of course, there are so many things you can do to improve your business but if you add this tip, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to experience some level of success.
18. Use promotional business cards
You can get more people to buy your product by giving a promotional offer in the form of a discount on your business card.
The cards can be made by a discount printing service to give you the advantage of advertising your business with cheap material without affecting the quality of the message you are relaying.
This way you don’t have to be frugal about who you give or where you drop them. You can even go a notch higher with the offers (in the form of coupons) on the card.
19. Advertise your business
Though often confused, marketing is not the same as advertising. Marketing deals with the whole process of relating your business to your customers.
Advertisement, on the other hand, deals with getting your business known by customers through information and media systems.
Advertisement is a part of marketing that must be optimized since it carries a major role in promoting your business.
You can advertise through the media houses like radio, television, newspapers, billboards, Facebook, Twitter and other advertising means.
20. Use affiliation programs
The affiliation can go in two ways: horizontally or vertically. Sign up your business with bigger businesses or be an affiliate agent for them if you can.
Care must be taken here. The body or business must be a reputable business with a good offer. You should also sign up partners as an affiliate to your own business too.
They will help you sell your goods faster and will definitely give your business a wider coverage.
21. Encourage referrals
No one sells a product better than a satisfied user of that product. A satisfied customer is bound to announce you more than you could do yourself.
The testimony of your customers goes a long way to paint the image of your business. Don’t just assume people will refer you (even though they could), you should ask for it.
Encourage your customers to refer their family, friends and acquaintances. You can even add a compensation scheme to the referrals. It could be freebies, discounts or other remunerations.
22. Join professional bodies and support groups
Though not obvious, this is a great tool for marketing. Most businesses have a governing body, trade union or industrial group.
For your small business, you have more to gain from such a support group apart from access to the market. You will also receive protection and insights into new things like technology in your market and information about the trends in your market.
The bigger businesses in your midst will be your ladder to your business’ growth. A lot of Facebook groups are now created with business in mind. Search for such groups and get more ideas on what others are doing.
23. Take a step back
Your judgment could be clouded due to proximity and involvement with the business. You should take a step back once in a while to have a different view.
Sometimes, try to see a customer’s perspective of your business, product or services.
This will give you an understanding of what makes your product and services stand out. It tells you what differentiates your business from others, what you are doing right or wrong and how you can get better.
24. Maximize service marketing
The businesses that render service has a way of marketing themselves. These ways are tested and proven over time.
You can learn from the tips these businesses give you. The tips include gearing your marketing message towards the value you provide, holding a question and answer session with customers, and organizing a press conference.
25. Utilize product marketing tips
If your business is a manufacturing business, you can get manufacturing tips from other businesses, your network or trade group.
These tips can teach you how to adapt your marketing plans to suit your market and give you a better result.
The tips may include knowing your B2C market, use of social sites, product review, and rating.
26. Take action
You might go hungry in a house full of food if you don’t take the action to eat.
Having a good plan is not enough, you have to take action. Implement that good plan and see it become a success.
27. Hire marketing help
Though this might seem like a very expensive way to go about growing your business, you can find inexpensive ways to go about it. For instance, you can hire contract marketers.
You will have the resources of professional materials at your disposal while you concentrate fully on your business. Marketing help not only gives you more time to do other things, but also gives you a way out of some aspect of marketing that you are not good at.
Another bonus is that as your business grows, you will need to hire them anyway, so why not hire them now.
28. Determine your overall budget
This is a step that is a bit complicated. You need to determine your budget and this essentially involves finding out how much cash you can spend.
You need to find out how much cash you can devote to your plan and your campaign.
This isn’t a number that you can use to try and figure out how much you can spare here. So, do your research and make sure that you are completely happy before you move forward.
29. Define your Key Goals
Ask yourself why you want your business to be successful, and figure out all of the potential outcomes too.
For example, do you want to focus on getting more subscribers? Lead generation? Traffic?
The less money you have to work with, the more you need to define your specific goals.
Either way, you need to make sure you know exactly what you need to do to achieve your measurable goals.
All these ways will give you results only when they are applied. Don’t waste your time having all these bullets in your gun without firing.
Take your mark, fire and hit your aim. Don’t read all these without using them to grow your business.
Adapt them to fit your business. That is the only way to grow your small business with marketing. See you at the top and share your results in the comment section.