Small business owners face a number of challenges, not the least of which is balancing small budgets with high demands. Marketing is definitely one of the areas in which this discrepancy is most pronounced. Word of mouth is rarely enough to build a decent client base, so marketing is a must, but most small businesses can’t really set aside too much money for ad campaigns and other traditional approaches to marketing. That’s why they could benefit from some simple, yet highly effective marketing strategies that don’t require large investments.
Get to Know Your Customers
This is not a marketing strategy, but a basis for any approach that you may decide to take. If you know your customers you’ll be able to discern the best way to advertise to them. You need to know where people who are likely to have a use for your services congregate, what their interests are and what they are looking for in a business. Once you are familiar with your target demographics, you can formulate an adequate strategy.
Get to Know Your Neighbors
This is to say that you should get involved in the local community and make sure that the businesses as well as individuals in your region are aware of your existence. Apart from bringing you customers, this could also result in a partnership with another local business. There are a number of ways to do this, including hosting different events, holding a lecture on your area of expertise, sponsoring a local sports team or an initiative, and simply doing your best to stay open and approachable. Local newspapers could also help you immensely, and it shouldn’t have to be too hard to find a way to get mentioned in such publications.
Keep Your Customers Happy
While it is true that word of mouth is not enough for a business to prosper, that is not to say that it cannot help, quite the opposite. Make sure that your clients know that you appreciate their business. Apart from doing what should be obligatory for every business, which is to say offer decent customer service, reliable, high quality products or services, and be polite, you can take this a step further by occasionally offering discounts to your long time customers. You could also offer incentives for every referral that they bring, or for recommending you to their friends on social media websites.
Use Promotional Products
People love getting gifts, even if the gift in question is nothing special. A nice way to reach out to new customers is to hand out promotional merchandise imprinted with your company logo. The product in question should, ideally, have at least something to do with your business, but this is not a must, a nice pen or Flash drive will do the job quite nicely. However, you should make sure that the product in question is something that the person who received it is likely to use often, and be as exposed to your message as possible. Hand these out at events or locations that are likely to attract your potential customers and your exposure should increase significantly.
Katrina writes mostly about creative marketing ideas, promotional strategies, advertising on a budget and business solutions. She is constantly searching for new creative marketing tips online.