When it comes to finding the most effective small business marketing techniques, it all starts with an understanding of the ideal customer for your products. Once you know who the ideal customer is in terms of their age, gender, and interests you can start shaping the right techniques for you. The good news is that most of the marketing efforts cost very little to no money in getting started which means that even those on a limited budget will be able to use these small business marketing techniques.
Building up your customer base starts with utilizing your assets when it comes to print. If you have a good printer, standard computer, and an answering machine or voice mail you can create a good, solid advertising campaign for your business without having to rent space or pay a great deal of money.
Flyers: One of the simplest methods for letting people know about your business is flyers. You can distribute the flyers in many different ways from mailboxes to placing them on the windscreens of vehicles. You need to put the name of your business, the services it offers, and contact information so that interested parties can seek you out. In addition, offering a voucher, discount, or a free estimate provides a strong incentive for them to buy from you.
Posters: You’ll find plenty of bulletin boards and available space for putting up flyers and posters. One old trick is to make several tabs at the bottom of the poster which contain vouchers so that customers can use them to save money when shopping at your store. Another marketing technique is making the posters different colors and identifying them to the store where they were posted. This way you can identify the stores that offer the best customer reaction.
Additional Sales Techniques
Once you have gained the attention of potential customers, the next step is to keep them coming back to your business using effective follow-up methods. The best small business marketing techniques creates repeat customers which are the backbone to all companies.
Referral Network: This is a very valuable asset to your business. Here, customers and businesses offer referrals to your company which helps build up your customer base. Of course, you are encouraged to refer other businesses if for some reason you do not have the products a customer needs. Such a network is most helpful with businesses as you can get high quality clients to help your company financially, legally, or in many other aspects that improves your business.
Adding Value: Similar to providing free appraisals or vouchers, value additions are designed to improve customer satisfaction. This means discounts for repeat customers, referral rewards, and guarantees that help strengthen the bond between you and your customers.
Telesales: This is a sales technique that many business owners find difficult as they find the task uncomfortable and time consuming. However, it is one of the most powerful small business marketing techniques thanks to its effectiveness. Plus, if people cannot buy you as the representative of your company, then they will not buy anything from you. Telesales when done correctly is one of the most potent marketing techniques because it results in quick sales and established a tight bond between the customer and your business. If you can overcome the initial discomfort of making calls, then you can build your customer base very quickly which can really grow your customer base.
The internet should be viewed as part of your marketing effort, but it does work differently than traditional methods. Basically, every company needs an online presence in some form in order to attract customers that they would not find in their region using traditional sales methods. The combination of social media, blogs, and different internet sales techniques such as search engine optimization provides great potential for your business, particularly if you can ship products around the world.
However, even a local café can greatly benefit from being online as more people today use the internet to find what they need. The good news is that setting up an blog and social media sites cost very little money and can be maintained at any time as long as you have an internet connection. While hiring a professional web designer is recommended, virtually anyone can at least set up the basic sites needed to start advertising their business.
Once you establish a new relationship with a customer with your marketing techniques, the trick is holding onto them as they will be the backbone of your sales. You will need to walk the tightrope that straddles getting enough information out of your customers so that you can use it to broaden your advertising methods, but not going too far in that you turn away customers by appearing to hassle or badger those who have purchased from your business.
You will need to know the following from your established customers;
- Why did they choose your business?
- When did they hear about your business?
- Where did they hear about your business?
- Where there other companies that they considered?
- What was the most and least satisfying aspect of purchasing from your business?
The good news is that you can glean much of the information almost casually if you have established a social media or email connection with them. You can combine a short questionnaire with a voucher or special discount when they submit the information. In this manner, you are rewarding the customer for taking a few moments to let you know some valuable information about themselves.
In the end, even the best SME business marketing techniques will generally lead to a return of investment of 10% to 20% on average. While a very few will exceed that amount, it generally takes a terrific product in the right place at the right time to accomplish a higher return rate. However, no business owner should be disappointed when they use the right techniques that create a larger customer base and build on the success that they enjoy.