Small business owners often find themselves in a delicate position when it comes to marketing. They need to get their message out and build their brand, but they might not be positioned well to handle major growth. More than that, small business owners may struggle with budgetary concerns, needing to make a dollar out of 15 cents far too often. Small business marketing can be an exciting process, allowing an owner to share his passion with the world. For those owners to find success, though, they’ll need to follow these five rules.
Measurable marketing is key
Big companies have the ability to take chances because they’ll always be in the position to see the long-term changes in their sales as a result of some marketing campaign. Small businesses don’t have that luxury. Small business owners must market in measurable ways. You’ll need to know that people are buying your product because of your ad campaign or a certain promotion. As a small business owner, you can’t afford to simply take a chance with your limited budget.
Many small initiatives beat a single big campaign
Maybe your small business has the chance to sponsor a hole in the charity golf tournament of a local pro football coach. You think it might help, but it’ll cost almost $10,000 for the exposure when all is said and done. What do you do? If you’re smart, you’ll opt for many smaller initiatives instead. Risky marketing campaigns have the potential of blowing up in your face and straining your marketing budget over the rest of the year. You might also lose the ability to behave rationally if something goes wrong. You’ll feel so much pressure to produce results that you might not be yourself.
As a small business owner, you are an asset
People love a good story about a man or woman taking a chance. Don’t think that you must only sell your product or service. You might benefit from selling yourself and your story. If you can connect with your consumer base on a personal level, they may gravitate to your business because it’s something that drives them. Cousin’s Maine Lobster, a franchise food truck business that’s been featured on Shark Tank, is a great example of this phenomenon. The cousins sell their own story of overcoming hardship and of family, and people respond well to their products as a result.
Emphasize your small, unique qualities
In the age of massive corporations, many consumers are more willing than ever to shop at a small business. Emphasize the ways you’re small rather than trying to compete with the big boys. If you work with local producers, let your customers know. If you grew up in the area you’re serving, use this in your marketing campaigns. The upside to this approach is that you might attract organic media publicity, too.
A mixture of offline and online marketing
Too many business owners get caught up in one style of marketing or another. They invest heavily in pay-per-click campaigns while neglecting local charity events. On the other side, they invest heavily in sales promotions without targeting new customers online. You’ll find that online and offline marketing are complementary. You can guide new leads that you meet to your website, and you can use your online marketing efforts to highlight the offline marketing you’re doing in the community.
As a small business owner, you’re right to show concern over your marketing. It’s difficult to find the right balance and stay within a budget. Marketing should be exciting, though, and if you’re doing it right, it will amount to little more than showing a bit of your passion to the public.