December 21, 2010

Crash Course in Small Business Marketing! (Part 1)


I recently bumped into an old friend of mine and we sat down over a latte yesterday afternoon and we openly discussed a few marketing ideas for his small business, which prompted me to start thinking about writing an article on the subject of small business marketing. In this 2 part series I’d like to elaborate on the subject of marketing for small businesses from scratch and cover essentially all aspects of small business marketing in general, from the importance to planning to various types of marketing methods available.

What is small business marketing?

I know this sounds a bit of a silly question but surprisingly there are quite a few individuals that have set themselves up for a few months and have perished for the simple reasons of having lack of knowledge, advice and lack of engagement in affective small business marketing methods, I’m sure there are financial issues to speak as well but the majority of the one’s I’ve come across have made no real effort in selling themselves or their services to the public. So what is small business marketing really? Let’s simplify.

Scenario: You set yourself up with a business, you launch a website; you buy a van or even hire some business premises to start the ball rolling. You take care of all the fancy delights of kitting yourself out and then! You wait, wait for what? Most small offline businesses take off quite easily through word of mouth which traditionally still works very well if you’re planning to sell ice-cream in a van down your local high street, but what about real marketing methods? Methods that word of mouth will never come to par with!

Small business marketing is about carrying out affective methods of advertising and publicising your business to the world in an attempt to drive consumers to your business. It’s about selling yourself and your services to the public. Small business marketing is without a shadow of a doubt the most important investment that you can possibly make for your business, both in time and money, without it your business will flop; it’s as simple as that. But how affective your marketing methods actually are is a completely different story which we’ll cover later on in this series.

Advertising

Ok we’ve established what small business marketing is and now we move on to advertising. I’m not going to explain what advertising is as I’m sure everyone knows what this is! To achieve affective advertising your business needs to focus on targeting the right audience, if you’re in the public sector then you need to also look into not just targeting the right audience but to target them in the right geographical area. So for example if you’re a plumber living in Bude, Cornwall, England, then you need to focus your advertising campaign to target an audience in that area or surrounding area, and we’ll discover how you can use both online and offline advertising services to achieve just this later on in the series.

Budget

All businesses need an advertising budget of some sort. Many of my friends refer to this as a complete waste of money and that there would be no way in their jurisdiction they would be putting money aside for marketing and advertising their businesses. Unfortunately for them it shows as much of them have either bailed, gone bust or spending much of their time twiddling their thumbs down the beach with no work coming in. If you’re just starting out then perhaps you have a business grant and so to speak you should consider putting at least $100 a month aside for advertising and marketing your business. If you’re putting you’re hands in your own pocket for your marketing budget then there is no reason why you can’t put the same sort of amount aside.

Planning

So far everything we’ve mentioned may sound quite time consuming, however as mentioned earlier in this post it is very important that you invest both time and money in getting your investment off the ground, and more than anything time will probably be one of your biggest and most important investments that you make. There were times that I’d spend endless hours marketing my online art business and you come to a point where you say to yourself, this is enough I can’t do anymore than what I’ve already done. You then get a reality check after a few weeks breaking away from promoting and marketing to find that you haven’t really done enough to get those customers rolling in, it’s a savage game but you made the decision to run your own business and that’s the price you pay.

Planning and organising your time and money is crucial to the success of your marketing and advertising ploys and inevitably the key to the success of your business, so make sure that you have all the tools you need to make this happen. Get yourself a business diary, a white marker board, and a calendar and designate it only for your marketing and advertising use. Mixing it with your other business commitments will only send you round the bend and you’ll end up being confused and dazed as to where you are with your marketing efforts.

In part two we’ll take a closer look at affective online and offline marketing methods that works and how you can use it to drive consumers to your business. We’ll also take a look at online and offline advertising in more detail as well as recommend some great advertising platforms in which to use.

Image provided by renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


About Fabrizio Van Marciano

Fabrizio Van Marciano is a fulltime international selling artist and blogger working from home. His insight into online business marketing and website design has lead him on the path to becoming one of the UK's biggest selling modern contemporary artists with over 3,000 original canvas paintings sold worldwide. You can follow Fabrizio on Twitter & Facebook.

Comments

  1. Karol Amorim says:

    Hi, i think that i saw you visited my blog so here i am!.I am trying to find things to improve my website!I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!

  2. I genuinely enjoy studying on this internet site , it holds excellent articles .

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