It’s time to work on
We know a lot of you don’t have time to spend on your business, rather than in it, but it is important to always be thinking about it.
We have thrown a whole lot of thoughts out of our heads below to have a look over and see if anything ‘sparks’ anything for you.
Marketing Ideas to Promote your Business
Once you know who you’re talking to, where you need to reach them, and what you need to say, you can make smart marketing choices. Here are just some of the things you could do – but don’t spread yourself too thin.
Try a couple at a time and see what works. If the results aren’t there, experiment with something else. You’re probably already wondering how you’ll start a business with hardly any money; the last thing you need is to waste cash on ineffective marketing. You’re better off doing just a few things really well.
Put in the time to promote your business
Schedule at least an hour a day on promotional activities. Spend some of that time reviewing what’s working and what’s not.
There’s nothing wrong with trying something different and finding that it didn’t work. But it’s important to cut your losses when something isn’t performing well.
And don’t forget to steer some of your marketing effort toward your existing customers. It’s a lot easier to keep a customer than to attract a new one. But you have to show them some love. Demonstrate your appreciation for their business from time to time.
Brainstorm as many ideas as you like, but only act on two or three things at a time or you’ll run out of energy.
Create a Free Listing with Google
Set yourself up at Google My Business to improve results when people Google businesses like yours.
Get Active on Social media
You can try to build a following by putting out interesting content, or you can pay to push ads and posts to specific audiences. But be careful not to spam.
Use SEO to Attract Prospects to your Site
To build a website that shows up when people search for the products or services you sell, you’ll need to use the right keywords and get other sites to link back to you. But the payoff can be big.
Share your Expertise
Create articles, videos or podcasts with useful or interesting information and use them to bring people to your site.
Offer Tutorials or Webinars
Offer to guide prospects through an issue or a problem for free. You can do it in person, on a video call, or via a webinar.
Create Effective Email Marketing Campaigns
These are usually informational or promotional messages sent to people who asked you to keep them updated, such as prospects, clients, reporters, vendors, affiliates, etc. Marketing emails encompass a variety of content, but most are used to send newsletters, sales promotions, announcements, press releases, follow-ups, and surveys.
- Build and maintain your subscriber list
- Encourage readers to reply
- Make it personal
- Leave a ‘cliffhanger’ in your subject line – get them hooked
- Utilise pre-headers effectively to get the readers attention
- Use call-to-action buttons and links
- Send when you have something valuable to share
- Integrate your email campaigns to social media platforms
- Think about your audience and be as relevant as possible
- Limited relevant content, promotion and offers – keep it short
- However, promotions aren’t everything
- Make sure your emails look clean and crisp
- Include interesting links and calls to action
- Build your subscriber list
- Make emails mobile-friendly
- Track your data
Be aware of the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007.
Turn your Email Signature into a CTA
Build an attractive CTA (Call to Action), and including it in the signatures of your company’s emails will expose it to a great number of people providing a great marketing opportunity.
Ask for Referrals or Testimonials from Happy Customers
Positive reviews from real people count for a lot. It’s a perfect way for potential clients to trust a business more after reading a positive review.
Let customers see how good your product or service is by giving away free samples. If you’re a consultant, make up a nice certificate for one hour of your time for free.
Interact with prospects, in person or online. Don’t forget to put time into old relationships too. There may already be people in your network who can help build your business.
If you have a cool story, see if a local paper, radio station, or trade magazine wants to cover it.
What Works for You?
Every business is different. What marketing have you done in the past? What has worked? What hasn’t? How do you know – can you quantify it?
Make sure the brand you portray to clients and customers is all up-to-scratch. Remember We live in a time when consumers are spoiled for choice. Make sure your brand and how you showcase your business is solid. Do you need to rebrand to keep things fresh and current?
Ads can be anything from a poster on a bus stop, to a video on social media, newspaper or local magazines. Choose the right place for your audience and keep your message as simple as possible.
Stick them in residential mailboxes, Post office drops or hand them out in the street to promote a local business. It often helps to include a special offer, such as a discount or two-for-one.
Video marketing is one of, if not the, most important marketing trend today and likely for the next 5-10 years.
Via platforms such as Google and Facebook, these can be target marketed to your perfect customer.
Sell your products online – and it’s available to everyone 24/7
Brain-Storm Ideas as a Team
Buy-in from your employees will be much greater if they have had input into marketing ideas. They know your customers too.
Invest in a Quality Website
A website is a great way to provide value-added service to your customers and clients and is a great way to keep them coming back to you when they need your products or services.
Consumer behaviour changes over time to adapt to modern technology, and consumer behaviour has changed to adapt to the digital age.
- Your business will gain credibility
- Customers can be kept informed
- A website is always accessible
- A website enables you to target a wider audience
- Attract new customers
- It allows you to hone your companies brand and image
- It can help grow your business
- Would consumers consider a business without a website?
- People are searching for you online
- Easy to find relative information
- Stand out on your industry
- Social media reach is limited
- Affordable compared to ongoing traditional advertising
- Up-to-date current information
- Your website stays open 24 hours per day
- Make sure good SEO (search engine optimisation) is covered for the best possible site rankings in search engines
- Your competitors probably have one
Already have a website? Ask yourself is it performing at it’s best possible state to attract customers. Is it up-to-date? Is it mobile and user friendly? If you were a customer or client looking at your site for the first time would it be appealing, showcase your company and is easy to access quick, relative information?
Do you have a client database?
Simply download your clients information from your accounting system.
The company, contact, email, address, phone, what they buy from you can be helpful (e.g. in our case web, graphic or print). This way you can upsell them to your other products and services. A perfect solution to reach the masses is a regular Mailchimp (e-marketing) campaign to promote and inform your customers
Why do I need a database?
In today’s competitive business world, many businesses are increasingly using a customer database in an attempt to manage their customer relationships to increase both sales and customer satisfaction.
- Identify your most profitable customers
- Keep track of your customer information
- Track customer sales information
- Identify key trends in your field
- Keep in regular contact
- Promote yourself
Is your database up-to-date?
A clean and up-to-date database is the basis for every good marketing campaign. A well maintained database enables you to send relevant emails that fit the personal needs of your recipients.
Make sure your master database is up-to-date as clients change locations, phone numbers and emails.
Monitor results – Always keep a close eye on your email results and process opt-outs, bounces and mutations thoroughly. Clean up your database after every emailing you sent. This is simple to find in the reports from every mailchimp (e-marketing) campaign. Clients, via mailchimp emails, update their own contact information, or give them a simple webform so they can provide you with information if it changes. This could be its own email campaign, asking them to update their details and directing them to a webform.
How many of those clients are no longer dealing with you?
Cull your database and list those clients so you can reconnect with them. Database sorting for clients who have not spent is simple through accounting systems. It can’t hurt to give them a prod?
What Products and Services does your client not know about?
Do you know what product and services your clients receive from you so you can target specific deals directly to them?
Many clients may only use one or a few of your products or services. Would they use others if they were aware?
Who are your top twenty clients?
It is an old business adage: About 20 percent of your customers produce 80 percent of your sales. We’re all tempted to waste our time trying to please all of our customers instead of the most lucrative ones.
Do you know who your top twenty clients are and how much they spend?
These clients should receive most of your attention.
Are you in regular contact with your clients?
Regular contact ensures your customers feel comfortable with you while opening doors for suggestions and feedback that could lead to more sales. Whether it’s a one-time or repeat purchase, when customers buy your goods or services, you enter into a relationship with them.
Like all relationships, the key to success is effective communication. Engage in regular communication with your customers, via email marketing, E-newsletters and blog posts. This will keep customers apprised of your company’s latest products and specials, with an air of exclusivity.
Communicate with your customers all throughout the purchasing process and beyond and you will earn their trust while increasing positive word-of-mouth, which may equal greater sales.
Effective business communication is how employees and management interact to reach organisational goals. Its purpose is to improve company practices and reduce errors.
The importance of business communication also lies in:
- Presenting options/new business ideas
- Making plans and proposals
- Executing decisions
- Reaching agreements
- Sending and fulfilling orders
- Successful selling
- Effective meetings
Technology is also a great way to interact with your staff. Have a look at Trello.com – this is a free to-do list with all the bells-and-whistles you may need to manage simple tasks to full projects. There are plenty more such as Monday, Biz-Hub etc for project management
Regular meetings are essential to keep everyone on the same page, clarify information and make employees know what is expected of them.
There’s nothing more important to a small business than its employees. If your employees are happy, their productivity will increase, and that’s exactly what you need to help your business grow.
Some tips to increase productivity:
- Be efficient
- Reduce distractions
- Have the right tools and equipment
- Improve workplace conditions
- Offer support and set realistic goals
- Practice positive reinforcement
- Ensure employees are happy
Do you measure this?
In business, personal development improves effectiveness. It empowers staff to produce better results and meet their targets. For excellent results, an employer or a business owner must have an energetic and productive team. Business revenues are created by the people you employ and without them, little or no business would take place.
- Gives clarity to a personal vision
- Sharpens existing skills
- Gives your talents room to shine
- Improves effectiveness in business
- Drives motivation and satisfaction
- Builds client and employee confidence
- Reduces staff turnover and improves unity
Do you up-skill your team? It is a great opportunity for more educated staff and the staff appreciate you investing in their future.
It doesn’t have to be expensive courses and away from the workplace either – think about in-house training with senior to junior members or online courses
Pricing & Sales
Pricing isn’t a static venture: it should and must slide with changing market considerations, new products and evolving business goals.
One of the secrets to business success is pricing your products properly. Price your products correctly and that can enhance how much you sell, creating the foundation for a business that will prosper. Get your pricing strategy wrong and you may create problems.
Here are some tips to consider:
- List out your product’s true costs
- Analyze your customers and competitors
- Consider your real business priorities
- Consider using add-ons
- Come up with tiered pricing
- Have a plan to increase prices gradually
- Analyze your conversions
- Know your customer
- Know your costs
- Know your revenue target
- Know where the market is heading
Do you have a customer loyalty programme?
Would offering rewards or specials be beneficial?
Do you have a system for up-selling?
One of the most important factors towards the longevity of a start-up is continuous research and assessment of the competition. Gaining even the smallest edge on your business competitors can mean the difference between failure and success.
Knowing who your competitors are, and what they are offering, can help you to make your products, services and marketing stand out. It will enable you to set your prices competitively and help you to respond to rival marketing campaigns with your own initiatives.
Here are some tips:
- Assess your competitors
- Check their social media
- Mystery shopping
- Online business information sources
- Conduct a survey
- Check-in with your suppliers
- Ask your customers
- Continual research is vital