Business can be daunting and one of the hardest parts to running a business is knowing how and where to market it. The difference between a successful business and one that’s struggling can simply boil down to a poor marketing mix.
It’s important to note, that marketing isn’t a one size fits all approach. Just because your competition may be focusing on a certain niche or strategy, doesn’t mean those tactics will translate into success for your business. Here are practical tips, you can employ, that will help you get started with your small business marketing efforts.
Here's how to get started with marketing your small business:
Understanding what you’re actually trying to achieve is half the battle. Your objectives need to be clear, precise and easily understood. For example, do you want to drive foot traffic, increase sales or create brand awareness? These all need to be specific with metrics attributed to them.
Identify your target market
The best ways to identify your target market is simply to get out there and start talking to customers. Understanding people, their drivers, and motivations. This will provide insight into any opportunities that exist.
Be clear about your target market. Why are they buying from you? What do they want? What problems are you currently solving for them? How do they find out about you?
Consider their demographics and behaviourisms. Even the smallest amount of market research will give you a better understanding of how to reach potential customers and what communications objectives work best.
Perform a quick SWOT analysis for your business
A SWOT analysis stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Translated simply, your strengths are what your business is good it, your weaknesses are what you’re bad at, opportunities are untapped markets or ideas that exist and threats are what poses a danger to your business. This gives you a brief situational analysis on your business, so you can better prioritise your capabilities, customers, and market opportunities.
Assess your competitors:
The first step to assessing your competitors is to look at them from a customer’s points of view, then look at them from their point of view.
- Marketing & promotional activity
- Service offering
On the other hand, you also want to see things from their businesses points of view. If you were running your competitor’s business, where would you likely head and what marketing tactics would you employ?
Be different. Most small businesses are competing in an environment where there are many alternatives. Realise, that by being small, you actually have the opportunity to be unique.
Set a strategy
Take the time to think through your marketing plan. Your plan should involve these elements:
- Your unique selling proposition. What makes your product, service or business unique?
- Your pricing strategy. What will you be charging, and why?
- Your promotions. How will you reach the target you identified?
- Your budget. What are your objectives and how much money will you need to achieve these?
- Your action plan. What tasks do you need to execute in order to satisfy your objectives?
- The metrics you’ll be tracking. When you start marketing, how will you be tracking your success and how will you measure where you can improve?