New companies often struggle with marketing. In fact, you may not have even thought about how to market your new business until you opened your doors.
This happens because most people go into business thinking about doing something they love to do or doing something they’re good at doing. Marketing questions just typically come a little bit later, usually when the phone isn’t really ringing.
There are plenty of marketing media options of course. However, the media takes second place to the following core marketing principles.
Figure Out What Makes You Different
This is the first step. Many small business owners make the mistake of believing that people will do business with them just because they’re there.
However, there’s a lot of competition out there. There’s a lot of “noise.”
You’re not just competing with other businesses like yours. You’re competing with all of the things that are competing for your target customer’s attention at any given moment of the day.
The only way to cut through all of this static is to know exactly why a customer should choose your business over anyone else’s business. And then you have to be ready to communicate that.
Put Yourself Where the People Are
You have to get yourself in a place where your customers can see you. You have to do it in a way that intrigues them rather than annoys them as you continue to spread your message about what makes you different.
These days, that means getting a solid, respectable web presence.
You can get some business through older methods like direct mail, physical networking, and brochures, but the person who will get the most business is the expert who seems to be answering questions the customer cares about every place the customer looks.
And the primary way that customers look for things is through search queries. So make your web site and your web presence real priorities.
You have to keep at it. Marketing is never over with, especially not online marketing.
This takes a lot of patience. You will have to know that your efforts will pay off, even if they don’t seem to be doing much today.
The business will come. And once it does, you still can’t stop.
You’ve got to keep right on doing the things that got you the business in the first place. Otherwise, your competition will take your customers away.
Make it a Priority
I can’t tell you how many small business owners I’ve met who feel like they simply have no time to market themselves. These people also typically skimp on their marketing budget. They do so to their detriment.
Good marketing – particularly good internet marketing – is the only thing that will keep you in business. Treat the task with the respect that it deserves and it will put money in your pocket.
And know this: marketing requires time or money. One or the other. Skimp on both, and you just won’t be in business for very long.