How to best use your small business marketing dollars
Marketing is vital to any business; however, it is especially important, for small businesses, which rely on a steady stream of new customers, to keep them up and going. Small business owners are sometimes tempted to reduce the amount they spend on marketing, unfortunately that can be a serious mistake, because if you don't market what your business has to offer, how will your customers know where to find you?
It can also be a difficult function for small businesses, which don't have the same amount of money to use, for marketing as their larger competitors. Sometimes small business owners make the mistake of trying to match their larger competitors marketing, dollar for dollar, only to find themselves quickly going under. Small business owners who want to effectively market, to their target market, must be extremely choosy how they spend their marketing dollars. The good news is that there are ways that small businesses can effectively spend their marketing dollars, and receive a high return on investment. Here is what you need to know about how to best use your small business marketing dollars-
- Understand that expensive doesn't mean the best-It is important to remember that that you don't have to spend a lot of money, to get excellent marketing results. Having the right market research is important to determining how to best use your marketing dollars. Once you know where your target market is, then you can design a marketing plan that will reach them. This helps to eliminate the chances that you are wasting time and money, on ineffective marketing.
- Start with networking-This is a process that can get the name of your small business, out there quickly and almost cost-free. You should start by carrying your business card with you everywhere you go, since you never know when there will be an opportunity to talk about your business. This is a great form of marketing, because even if the person you are talking to is not interesting in what you have to offer, they might know someone else who will be.
- Think about going co-op-Perhaps there is a marketing strategy that you want to use, but it is simply to expensive. While it may be too expensive, for your small business to do on its own, there is a distinct possibility that if you joined with another small business or two, then together you can afford do it. When you network (see above), you can contacts with other small business owners who might be interested in joining marketing forces.
- Take it online-One of the best things about this type of marketing is that it is virtually free. All you will need is someone with the expertise to set up and maintain your website. While this type of marketing was once only used for a few target markets, today it seems that virtually everyone is online. Having your own website, for your small business is a great way to provide your target market, with some valuable information that can draw them to your business. You can also set up your own company blog, for next to nothing. You will only need to invest some time and effort in maintaining it. You can use your blog to educate your customers about what products and services you offer, tips about how to use them, information about your industry and anything else that will offer value to your readers and most of all keep them interested in coming back. Just make sure that you are posting fresh content on a regular basis, or you will fail to develop regular readers who could become loyal customers.