Wednesday, July 10, 2013
There are plenty of challenges that face small business owners who are trying to survive and thrive in what is now a very difficult economic climate. Foremost among these challenges is the difficulty of getting your name out there, attracting people’s attention and earning new business.
This can seem like a near insurmountable task for newer small business, who risk being blown out of the water by the marketing budgets of their larger competitors. There are a number of key things, however, that newer small businesses can consider and undertake, in order to help them get themselves noticed and earn the new business which they crave.
Treat your Existing Customers Well
It is crucial as a small business that you are not so pre-occupied with gaining new business that you neglect your current customers. This isn’t just general bad business practice, but it is also counter-productive, as your current customers can be, and often are, your best source for future business too. This can come in the shape of repeat business from themselves, through their recommendation to their friends or colleagues, or ideally both, and is an excellent and free way in which you can earn new business. Therefore, it is crucial as a small business to do everything possible to keep your current customers happy, for their sake and more importantly for your sake too.
Loss Leaders and Special Offers
In business, it often pays to look long term and this can mean taking a hit initially to improve your chances of success in the future. What we mean by this is that it can pay to offer a loss leader product or service, which is an item on which you don’t make any margin, or even may lose a little, in order to bring more people into your customer base, in the hope that they will return to you in the future with more orders.
This can be a little risky, however, so a slightly more conservative option is to create special offers or promotions, which limit your profit margins, but don’t diminish them altogether and can still have the same effect.
Network, Boast and Call in Favours
Throughout your life, both business related and in your social sphere, you are likely to have built up a wide range of friends, colleagues and contacts, and the chances are that at least a few of them will know someone who might be interested in what your business is offering.
It is, thus, important to make the most of the connections that you already have and to not be afraid to tell people about your business and get them to tell others. This is essentially free advertising and, whilst it may not be the most effective form of marketing, any results that you do get from it come from zero expenditure.
Advertising Isn’t Always Expensive
As a small business, you may think that advertising is something that is not within your budget, especially if you are a new start up. If you’re smart about it, however, it doesn’t have to be, as some forms of marketing can offer great value for money.
Leaflet distribution companies, like http://leafletlondon.co.uk, can provide great value location targeted advertising, and pay per click advertising online can be strictly budget controlled and monitored to ensure that it remains cost effective