One mistake that small business owners often commit is that they often spread themselves too thin. Thus, there is no focus on their small business marketing and they often produce little to no impact on their target audience.
Experts point out that there are 4 basic points that must be considered when marketing a small business: business plan, marketing plan, market research, and budget.
Writing a Business Plan
Your small business plan should cover at least one year but leave a tab wherein you can input monthly reports. Experts also suggest that you update it on a quarterly basis, such that your business could adapt to changing market trends.
You need to make small business marketing your priority when writing a business plan. You must specifically look into the medium-term, say 2 to 4 years into your business. Here is where you need to get all areas of the business involved – from financing, manufacturing, supplies, personnel, and marketing. Thus, it leads you toward the next most important aspect of your small business planning- the marketing plan.
Here are some tips to consider when coming up with an effective small business marketing strategy:
Create a rallying point. But you have to instill that internally first, such that the people involved in your business has got a good sense of where you are headed and fill in on their roles.
Come up with a specific and detailed plan of action within a specified time period, such as the next 12 to 18 months. Be as narrow as possible so you can attain focus.
Use your marketing plan as a step-by-step guide towards operational activities. You need to identify goals and assign tasks.
Always look at the big picture in your small business marketing plan. Oftentimes, you focus too much on the details that you fail to analyze whether results are visible on a larger scale.
Another important aspect in every small business marketing is to conduct market research. The purpose here is to come up with a plan on how to resolve marketing problems that may arise. Some of the key areas to prioritize during your market research surveys include product differentiation, market segmentation, and other related data.
Over the past decade more and more people are getting fired, getting downsized, or getting fed up with their corporate jobs and embark on the journey as a small business owner. Unfortunately, most of the new small business owners fail to consider their marketing plans or strategy. There are many marketing concepts
for small business marketing to consider and plan for, but here is our list of Top 10 Marketing Concepts For Small Business Marketing.
Small Business Marketing Idea # 1: Consistency
Consistency is the number one marketing concept for small business marketing only because it is left out of marketing concepts for so many businesses. I have worked with a long list of clients, big and small, that are extremely inconsistent in all areas of their marketing. Consistency helps lower the cost of marketing and increase the effectiveness of branding.
Small Business Marketing Idea # 2: Planning
Once small business owners decide to be consistent with their marketing, planning is the next major concept to engage. Planning is the most vital part of small business marketing or any level of marketing, for that matter, and so many owners, marketing managers, and even CMOs plan poorly. Put the time into planning your marketing strategy, budget, and other concepts presented here to ensure success.
Small Business Marketing Idea # 3: Strategy
Strategy immediately follows planning because your strategy is the foundation for the rest of your marketing activities. In the process of planning, you must develop your strategy: who you will target, how you will target them, and how will you keep them as a customer.
Small Business Marketing Idea # 4: Target Market
Target market is also another key concept for small business marketing. Defining exactly who you are targeting allows small business owners to focus on specific customers and reduce marketing waste. A well-defined target market will make every other marketing concept so much easier to implement successfully.
Small Business Marketing Idea # 5: Budget
Although it is listed at number 5, budgeting is important throughout the entire process. Creating a marketing budget is usually the hardest and most inaccurate part of small business marketing. Most small businesses owners lack a great deal of experience in marketing, so their budgets usually end up skewed. The most important part of this marketing concept is to actually establish a marketing budget. From there, you can worry about how to distribute your available funds.
Small Business Marketing Idea # 6: Marketing Mix
The marketing mix is usually defined as product, pricing, place, and promotion. As a small business owner, you must specifically decide on your products (or services), the appropriate pricing, where and how you will distribute your products, and how will you let everyone know about you and your products.
Small Business Marketing Idea # 7: Websites
In today’s market, a business of any size must have a website. I hate when I see businesses that have a one page website with out-dated information. Customers, be it businesses or consumers, will search the web over 60% of the time before making any purchasing decisions. This marketing concept contains a slew of additional components, but you must at least develop a small web presence of some kind and keep it updated.
Small Business Marketing Idea # 8: Branding
Many small businesses owners also neglect this concept. Small business marketing must focus on this marketing concept just as much as large corporations do. Branding consists of the pictures, logo, design scheme, layout, make up, and image of your products and even your company. Branding is how your customers perceive (please place a lot of emphasis on that word!) your products and company. Make sure to pay special attention to what kind of brand you are building through each step of your planning and implementation.
Small Business Marketing Idea # 9: Promotion and Advertising
Promotion and advertising is a very complex marketing concept, but must be considered for any type of business and its products and services. Once you engage the previous 8 marketing concepts, you must finally let your target market know about you and your products. Proper promotion and advertising will result in effective brand recognition, and, ultimately, increased sales.
Small Business Marketing Idea # 10: Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
The concept of customer relationship management has become a huge industry in the marketing world. There are many types of software and services offered to help businesses of any size handle their customer relationship management. Since there is so much available, usually for a large sum of money, small business owners usually look at this concept as something they are not big enough for or have enough money to implement. Don’t be fooled by the massive industry that has evolved from this concept. Maintaining proper customer relationship management is essential to creating loyal and consistent customers.
This list of marketing concepts should be examined, researched, planned, and implemented, especially by small businesses, in order to be successful. Also, your marketing doesn’t stop here. Each business is unique and will have additional components that must be considered, but this list will jump-start any marketing plan.