If there is one task that you should not be ignored when starting your business, marketing would be it. Business Marketing is the bridge connecting your customers’ needs and the value you offer through your product or service.
Big companies allocate large budgets to ensure that they are highly exposed to the people who they believe should be doing business with them. Large corporates give more budgets to their marketing departments to promote their goods and services. The main reason for this is that exposing their product to public awareness will pay off in the form of more clients and higher sales.
However, in a start-up business, you are at a disadvantage because you are just starting out. You may not have enough budget to fund your publicity. For this reason, most start-up businesses ignore the marketing aspect of their business. Instead, they resort to that desperate move of waiting and hoping customers will come to them.
Business Marketing should be your initial Investment
On hindsight, experienced business people lament the decision of not including a marketing budget when they started off. Business Marketing failure is one of the main reasons why entrepreneurs struggle to get their businesses off the ground. And so many businesses languish in that start-up phase because the entrepreneur thinks of marketing as an expense and not an investment.
The marketing budgets of start-up businesses largely depend on the first income. When an entrepreneur thinks about their business, the initial investment should be on getting more clients. Before you can have the fancy office – business marketing should be taken care off. Your business cards, brochures or flyers should be the first consideration. If you are going the digital route, set aside a budget for advertising on whatever digital channel you can use to best reach your target market.
Useful Business Marketing Ideas
In the absence of marketing, the public will not know about your product or services. You don’t have to break the bank. But you do have to be creative about how you will get to your target audience. The success of your business requires that you build a bridge between the product or service and the public. It is risky not to market your business. Use these 5 small business marketing ideas to get your products and service out there:
ONE: Use Referral Rewards
An inexpensive way to establish your customer base is to use referral rewards. For start-up business, customers are usually rare and when you will get that one customer, make sure to treasure them. Service them well, and when they have been well served, ask them for referrals. Don’t be afraid to reward them for spreading the word for you. Make it public that you will give them a reward for every customer they send your way. In this way, they will be motivated to refer more customers to you. While it might cost you some money to give referral rewards, the benefits outweigh the cost.
TWO: Use Price Gimmicks
Another way of marketing your product or service is to sell your product at the introductory price. Show or display your normal price and state that if they do business with you, they will only pay the introductory price. It might mean, you will have to make some sacrifices on your profits but the more people you do business with the better the profit in the long run. Once people get used to your product, they will be sending more and more customers your way. You can slowly adjust your price until you arrive at your targeted market price. By then, you would have already established your market awareness without spending too much on publicity
THREE: Use Internet Marketing
If you want to target the global market for your product, it is very easy to do so. With the advent of search marketing on search engines like Google or Bing and social media marketing on Facebook or Twitter, you can get more bang for your buck and pay less with your marketing. With millions of people hooked on the Internet, it wise to connect with these people, which can only be bridged through the Internet
FOUR: Use Informational Material
Another less expensive way to sell your products or services is to circulate free informational materials. Information shared in free eBooks or information newsletters will help your customers know more about your product and how it can help them in their lives. This way, you have the advantage of helping your customer. If they find value in the information you share, they will consider doing business with you. Informed customers tend to be loyal supporters.
FIVE: Use Other People’s Businesses
Being an entrepreneur can seem like a lonely endeavor, it doesn’t have to be. Most business people think the only way to work is in isolation, which is not true. Find other businesses that complement your business’ products or services. You may be a plumber, it would be beneficial to work with a real estate agent where you can leverage off each other’s networks. Find a business that you can leverage off. You refer their business to your customers and ask them to refer to you their customers.
Making your product known to the public is not an easy task. For most start-up businesses, the challenge is deciding how to best connect with their target customer. Business Marketing is the way to go. It may look like a frivolous cost at the beginning, in hindsight it may cost you more not to invest in marketing your start-up.
Is not always the cost that stops start-up businesses from marketing their product. It is the lack of knowledge on some creative ways to make marketing cost effective.