How do I market my small business?

How do I market my small business?

How do I or how should I market my small business is a question we’re asked frequently. After all it’s what we do. It’s also a very open-ended one that usually elicits our response…well it depends.

Marketing a small business is not a 1, 2, 3 process

There’s no magic formula. No magic beans we can provide to new clients. Because no two scenarios are the same. It depends on your business, your market, your region and competitors, and it depends on your budget. New comers into a saturated market or industry will face a more difficult road than those launching something completely new. Of course, someone marketing something completely novel and unknown will be undertaking the challenge of educating the market and finding early adopters. Either situation will face and present unique issues. And even in some bizzaro world where two identical customers hired us for their marketing - each approach we took would be different for them too. Even though they’re the same. Why? Because they’re competitors to each other…and well part of the process is figuring out how to out fox your competitor.

How should you start to market your small business?

First you have to try to step back and analyze exactly where you’re at and where you want to go. It’s tough for business owners to do this because they’re too close to the subject. Even internal staff sometimes fall victim to drinking the Koolaid too. It just happens. Either they’re true fans of the product or service or they’ve been worn down and simply roll with the plan. It’s why we’re often called in to work with companies that have robust marketing departments - not to replace them - but to work with them. To be a soundboard and an outsider who can offer non-bias opinions. A good litmus test - show someone who has no contact or interest in your business your marketing materials. If they can’t tell you what you do or why you’re better in two minutes of perusing your materials…you’ve got a problem.

So what should you do?

After you’ve figured out what you do and why it’s better - and you’ve past the two minute test (above). Start thinking about the basics. We could rehash some of the items we’ve written previously, but instead, we’ll do the proverbial “clip show” and link to each of our blog posts. They’re in a loose order of importance - enjoy.

1) Seven things to consider before marketing your small business or start up
2) Elementary marketing tips for any business
3) How do you reach your customers in today’s fragmented market?
4) Branding can reduce marketing and design costs
5) How do you get your small business noticed?
6) Small business marketing - you might feel little, but you can do it big
7) The fine art of positioning
8) Market and perceptual positioning: the art of serving customers better - and keeping away the competition!
9) Clever companies spend more on marketing and advertising during recessions and depressions
10) Should a small business use social network marketing?

Dec 10, 2010

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