The foundations of marketing for small business owners

Running a small business is hugely exciting, but it can also be a quick route to burning out. You’re likely to have most of the responsibility, from ensuring that clients and customers are happy with their purchases, making sure that they get everything on time, keeping them coming back for more, and of course, spreading the word about what you have to offer. Marketing is the lifeblood of your business, and without it, the future of your operations is on very shaky grounds.

Work out who you’re selling to

The biggest mistake that most small business owners make when they start a new marketing campaign is that they think just about everyone out there is their potential customer or client. You might have products or services with a really wide appeal, and that’s great, but if you try to please everyone, you’re going to end up pleasing no one. Instead, narrow it down as far as you can. Who do you really want to serve? Is it stressed out stay-at-home mums? Is it highflying business executives who are cash rich but time poor? Is it solo traders operating service businesses from their spare room? Once you get really focused, that’s often when the magic starts to happen.

Create your compelling marketing message

Now that you know who you’re targeting, it becomes so much easier to create messages that resonate with that particular group of people. You can get into their minds, and work out what you need to say that will really strike a chord with them. What are their worries? Their dreams? Their ambitions? Their fears? And what difference can you make with your products or services? When you can really get to grips with this, you’ll notice a shift in your marketing. Instead of having to chase after people, they’ll start to seek you out and come to you. Of course, you’ll also know exactly where these people are ‘hanging out’, both online and offline, so you can make sure that you’re putting your irresistible messages in the right places to capture their attention. It’s this easy once you know how!

Spend your budget only on the essentials

It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you need to spend huge amounts of cash on a multitude of different things. Perhaps you’ve seen a marketing course that you think you really need, or you’re thinking about investing tons of cash into Facebook advertising, or you’re tempted by a deal that your local newspaper is running on advertising space. Often, these things aren’t necessary. With advances in the World Wide Web, there are low cost and free options available quite literally at your fingertips. Some things are non-negotiable though, so do set aside a little cash to pay for the essentials. For example, if you’re running an event, you’re going to need some promotional materials and perhaps some lanyards. That said, these things needn’t cost you a fortune. Keep a keen eye on your budget, and make sure you’re spending it in the right places.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with marketing, and end up burying your head in the sand, putting it off until ‘another day’. This approach will do your business no favours though, so why leave it any longer? The sooner you get started, the sooner you could start to see results. Use these tips as your foundations, and you really can’t go too far wrong. Creating a connection with the people who need what you have to offer needn’t be rocket science!