Most small business owners fail when it comes to their small business marketing plans. They have excellent technical skills in their line of work, but that doesn’t translate to having effective marketing skills.
As a result, the profitability of many small businesses has been declining over the years. The ever-increasing competition makes it more challenging in many ways. For those businesses that aren’t losing money, most aren’t producing the profits they could make if they knew how to market themselves properly.
These business owners often simply copy what they see other businesses doing, or follow the advice of some media marketer. The problem is that they copy the wrong kinds of businesses, and media marketers usually only know as much about effective marketing as the business owner.
Without the right kind of marketing system, the success of any business is pure chance. To help remedy this situation, here are seven things a small business can do to increase profits while spending less on marketing.
1. Use the power of free stuff
Everyone likes to get free stuff and you can use that to your advantage. If your business lends itself to giving away free samples of your product, go for it. Help get people hooked. Business profits have skyrocketed with this marketing model.
As Chris Anderson author of the book titled, “Free: the future of a radical pricesays, “You can make money by giving things away.” In his book, he talks about how companies are giving away products and services that they used to charge for, and in return, a percentage of their customers are buying something else. As a result, they’re making more money than ever.
When you give something away, you often activate a universal law called the “Law of Reciprocity.” It says that when people get something for free, they feel compelled to do something for you. Obviously it doesn’t work all the time, but it works enough.
But there is another way to give things away that can greatly benefit your business. When you do it right, you get something very valuable in return: customer contact information… which brings us to the next tip.
2. Start capturing customer contact information and use it
One of the biggest mistakes small business owners make is not leveraging their current customer base. They allow customers to visit your business (online or offline) throughout the day without even trying to capture their contact information so they can continue to market products or services to them.
You probably know how expensive it can be to get a new client. But you can market to your current customers for little or no cost. Capturing and using customer contact information can mean the difference between a profitable business and one that barely survives.
Your business has more customer value than a customer can digest in a short visit, so if you’re not continually marketing to your customers, you’re wasting money!
You can make capturing customer leads easier by simply using the power of the number one tip. Simply start a monthly giveaway to give away something free and print out some registration forms that visitors can fill out. Also have people sign up online on your website.
Tell customers they only have to register once for all the drawings and you’ll email them monthly to let them know who won. Of course you will always include an offer for a product or service!
What do you give? Anything with a perceived value is a great free item. Free items don’t have to be expensive. Buy something on sale at Walmart or eBay and offer it up. You can also offer free informative reports that help people solve their problems. People are always looking for ways to solve the problems they have.
Of course, once you capture this information, you have to do something with it. If you’re too busy to take on more work, the following tip will help.
3. Use automated tools to stay in touch with customers
Once you have a list of clients, I recommend that you send them a minimum of 25 “messages” a year. A message can be an email, a direct mail piece, a fax or a phone call.
If you don’t use an automated tool to do the work for you, you’ll probably be too busy to do the work. When you automate, your messages are sent no matter how busy you are (the more messages sent, the busier you are).
One tool you can use is an email autoresponder, which is a web-based system that sends emails when someone signs up. Send emails at the intervals you set. You can also set it to send an email on a specific day, such as a holiday.
The great thing about an autoresponder tool is that you enter your messages into the autoresponder once, then automatically send emails to your list. You can also broadcast messages anytime you want.
With this tool, keeping in touch with your customers is easy and will help prevent the competition from coming in and stealing your customers because they have forgotten about you and the services you provide.
4. Stop marketing like you’re a big business.
Marketing a small business as if it were a big business is something almost all small business owners do. They just copy the marketing they see being done by big companies with big brands. This type of marketing is called “brand identity”, “brand building” or “image” marketing.
This is a BIG waste of advertising money for a small business. You just don’t have the resources you need to support a successful branding campaign.
Brand advertising usually doesn’t have a “call to action” (they don’t ask you to do anything). They simply give you features of the product or service, or entertain you without asking you to do anything.
Brand advertising is usually free. The viewer has to determine if there is a benefit to them. It can contain a list of features and the user will have to assign their own benefit to each feature. It usually focuses on the product or supplier of the product rather than the customer.
A successful marketing campaign for a small business is built around direct response marketing techniques.
5. Use old-fashioned direct response techniques in new ways
The type of marketing plan that works for a small business is direct response marketing. It does not require a large marketing budget to use it effectively. It can be used for all kinds of products and services.
And the good news is that you don’t even have to hire an advertising agency to do it, since it doesn’t require creativity. All you have to do is learn the basic structure of direct response marketing and you can easily increase your business sales.
Direct response sales copy always asks the reader or viewer to take some kind of action, for example, “Call in the next 5 minutes and we’ll throw in a free set of Ginzu steak knives!”
You can ask for the sale directly if a full “sales presentation” has been made (one-step advertising), or you can ask them to request more information (two-step advertising). At the very least, it will ask the reader to take some sort of “traceable” action so you know if it’s working or not.
There should always be a headline for print ads! Never put your company logo at the top of a direct response ad. That is brand advertising.
Whenever you create an ad in any form, always look at it from the customer’s point of view. Look at it and ask “Who gives a shit?” about everything in it. Do you think the customer cares about your logo? Nope! They care about what you can do for them. Put in benefits and not features. Let the customer know what’s in it for them. A successful direct response ad for a small business includes several things:
- An offer to buy something.
- Sufficient information for the consumer to make a decision to act now (or instructions on how to obtain more information)
- An explicit “call to action” sooner rather than later
- A clear way to respond, such as a phone number or a web page.
- A means of tracking the response.
Direct response advertising is not only used for mailing campaigns. You use it in all forms of media: print, web, mail, and broadcast. Take a look at all the advertising you’re currently doing no matter where you are and start making the switch now.
6. Use the Internet to advertise for free
Although websites as we know them have been around since the early 1990s, only 49%* of small businesses currently have a website *9/08, Barlow Research. It’s amazing how many companies don’t understand how powerful this marketing tool is. If you don’t have a website, get one because there is no better source of free advertising.
The Internet has hundreds of “Web 2.0” websites where you post “content” for free. The content can be text, video, or audio that you create and can drive people to your business. Also, it helps you establish yourself as an expert in your field.
EzineArticles.com is one of those places where you can post content. There was no charge to publish this article. All I had to do was write it, post it, and then you found it.
You can place links in the “author resource” section to drive traffic to a page on your website. The articles you publish on EzineArticles can rank extremely well in Google search results with a little help from you.
You also want your business to appear in places like Google Local if you do local business. Once again, this is absolutely free.
Once you learn how to use the internet for promotion, you will have a head start in the future of advertising and get free customers.
7. Outsource routine marketing tasks so you can work on growing your business
One of the biggest problems small business owners have is that they get so consumed working ON their business that they don’t have time to work ON their business. Then no growth can occur.
When it comes to promoting yourself on the Internet, there are ways to use “virtual assistants” to do most of the work for you. A virtual assistant is someone you hire full or part time who does the work for you.
But a virtual assistant is not a direct employee, so they don’t provide benefits or have the normal hassles of an employee. They are usually located somewhere in the world that has low wages so they are very affordable. That is the beauty of the Internet and the communication it provides.
However, virtual assistants are not just limited to small business marketing plan tasks. They can do almost anything for you: reservations, scheduling appointments, answering phones, customer service, sending flowers, buying a gift for your spouse, finding someone to fix your car, website development, accounting, software development, writing. , graphics or anything. you need.
There are many resources on the Internet that can help you find a virtual assistant.
Create your small business marketing plan now!
Use these seven marketing tips to start creating your small business marketing plan now. If you procrastinate, your busy life will get in the way of business growth. Even if you only follow a little bit of the advice you’ve been given, you’ll find that it can have a big impact on the profitability of your business.