by Donovan Dillon Contributor
Posted on April 03, 2014 18:14 PM
For those who have decided that 2014 is the year to start that small business of their dreams, there are several small business marketing tips to follow to improve the chances of success. There is an old saying that goes “Failure to plan is planning to fail,” and when it comes to opening a small business, those words are especially true. These tips not only can help with the marketing aspect of a new company, but also with developing a plan from the beginning that could make the path to success much smoother.
Ideas Are a Start but Narrow Your Focus
Many people believe that a business has to be something completely different than any other business in the area, when, in fact, any idea is a starting place for a new company. The trick is to create a niche in the marketplace that only your company can fill. For example, if you want to start a landscaping company, consider focusing on particular types of landscaping. Maybe you have a talent for creating spectacular ponds and waterfalls, or you may be able to plant and nourish exotic flower gardens. Develop a business plan around your particular strengths, and use those strengths as you develop your small business marketing.
Make a Plan
A business plan is critical to success, but that plan does not have to be an elaborate document full of projections and legalese. Develop a plan based on what you can test quickly. For example, the landscaping business plan may begin with nothing more than cutting grass, weeding gardens and trimming shrubbery. Approach clients with that business plan and negotiate additional services based on client needs. Include additional services in your small business marketing plan, but begin small in order to build the business steadily.
It is critical to manage finances as you build the business. Every small business has times when business slows, and you must be able to survive those financial downturns. In areas where the weather is very cold in the winter, the landscaping business will be significantly less profitable, so it is important to manage finances to carry you over those cold winter months. Small business marketing plans can help you through some of these times as you may be able to promote cold weather services, such as snow removal or plant protection.
Marketing and Networking
The key to building a new business requires small business marketing and networking. It is not enough to build a website, drop a few business cards around town and create a Facebook page. Join your local Chamber of Commerce or other organizations that offer networking events to help you promote your business. Talk to friends and family members about the new company, asking them to refer customers to you. Although it may sound counterproductive, talk to competitors to see if you can develop partnerships, referring customers during very busy times or working together on large projects.
It is important to remember that owning and operating a small business is an ongoing process, and that every plan created when the business opens must be adjusted to meet current trends. Remain active in social media as part of your small business marketing campaign in order to address any negative feedback from customers, or to thank those who praise your company. Monitor your company’s online reputation and deal with anything that could keep customers from returning to your business. Measure all marketing efforts to learn what is working and what needs adjustment.
These small business marketing tips can help create a smoother path to success. MODsocket is here to help, whether you are starting a new business this year or want to increase the value of an existing business. To learn more about how MODsocket can help take your small business marketing efforts to the next level, visit us at www.modsocket.com.