Most small business owners fail when it comes to their small business marketing plans. They have excellent technical skills in their line of work, but that just doesn’t translate into effective marketing skills.
As a result, the profitability of many small businesses has been declining over the years. Increasing competition makes it more challenging in many ways. For those companies that are not losing money, most are not making the profits that they could if they knew how to market themselves properly.
These business owners generally simply copy what they see other businesses doing, or follow the advice of a media marketer. The problem is, they copy the wrong types of deals, and media sales people generally only know as much about effective marketing as the business owner.
Without the right kind of marketing system, the success of any business is by chance. To help remedy this situation, here are seven things a small business can do to increase its profits by spending less on marketing.
1. Use the power of free things
Everyone likes to get free stuff and you can use that to your advantage. If your business is willing to give away free samples of your product, please do so. Help people get hooked. Business profits have exploded with this marketing model.
As Chris Anderson, author of the book titled, “Free: the future of radical pricing“He says,” You can make money by giving things away. “In his book, he talks about how companies give away products and services that they used to charge for and, in return, a percentage of their customers buy something else. As a result, they are making more money than never.
When you give something away, you often activate a universal law called the “Law of Reciprocity.” It says that when people get something for free, they feel compelled to do something for you. Obviously it doesn’t work all the time, but it does work for a long time.
But there is another way to give away free stuff that can greatly benefit your business. When you do it right, you get something very valuable in return: customer contact information … which leads us to the next tip.
2. Start capturing customer contact information and use it
One of the biggest mistakes small business owners make is failing to tap into their current customer base. They allow customers to visit your business (online or offline) around the clock without even trying to capture their contact information so they can continue to market products or services to them.
You probably know how expensive it can be to get a new customer. But you can market to your current customers for little to no cost. Capturing and using customer contact information can mean the difference between a profitable business and one that is barely managing.
Your business has more customer value than a customer can digest in a short visit, so if you are not continually marketing to your customers, you are wasting money!
You can make it easier to capture customer contacts by using the power of free from tip number one. Just start a monthly giveaway to give away something for free and print out some sign-up slips that visitors can fill out. Also get people to sign up online at your website.
Tell customers that they only have to register once for all giveaways and that you will be reaching out to them on a monthly basis via email to let them know who won. Of course, it will always include an offer for a product or service!
What do you give away? Anything of perceived value is a great free article. Free items don’t have to be expensive. Buy something for sale on WalMart or eBay and offer it up. You can also offer free informational reports that help people solve their problems. People are always looking for ways to solve the problems they have.
Of course, once you capture this information, you have to do something with it. If you are too busy to get more work done, the following tip will help you.
3. Use automated tools to stay in touch with customers.
Once you have a list of clients, I recommend that you send them a minimum of 25 “messages” a year. A message can be an email, direct mail, fax, or phone call.
If you don’t use an automated tool to do the work for you, you are probably too busy to get the job done. When you automate, your messages are sent regardless of how busy you are (the more messages you get, the busier you are).
One tool that you can use is an email autoresponder, which is a web-based system that sends emails when someone signs up. Send emails at set intervals. You can also configure it to send an email on a specific day, such as a holiday.
The great thing about an autoresponder tool is that you enter your messages in the autoresponder once, then automatically send emails to your list. You can also broadcast messages anytime you want.
With this tool, staying in touch with your customers is easy and will help prevent competition from sneaking in and stealing your customers because they have forgotten about you and the services you provide.
4. Stop marketing like it’s big business.
Marketing a small business like a large company is something that almost all small business owners do. They just copy the marketing that they see being done in big companies with big brands. This type of marketing is called “brand identity” marketing, “branding” or “image” marketing.
This is a HUGE waste of advertising money for a small business. You just don’t have the resources you need to support a successful branding campaign.
Brand advertising generally doesn’t have a “call to action” (they don’t ask you to do anything). They simply provide you with product or service features, or entertain you without asking you to do anything.
Brand advertising is usually free. The viewer has to determine if there is any benefit to them. It can contain a list of functions and the user will have to assign their own benefit to each function. Usually it focuses on the product or the product supplier rather than the customer.
A successful marketing campaign for a small business is built around direct response marketing techniques.
5. Use outdated direct response techniques in new ways
The type of marketing plan that works for a small business is direct response marketing. You don’t require a large marketing budget to use it effectively. It can be used for all kinds of products and services.
And the good news is, you don’t even have to hire an ad agency to do it, as it doesn’t require creativity. All you have to do is learn the basic structure of direct response marketing and you can easily increase the sales your business makes.
Direct response sales copy always asks the reader or viewer to take some action, for example, “Call in the next 5 minutes and we’ll include a free set of Ginzu steak knives!”
You can request the sale directly if a full “sales pitch” was made (one-step advertising), or you can ask them to request more information (two-step advertising). At the very least, it will ask the reader to take some kind of “traceable” action so they know if it’s working or not.
There should always be a headline for written announcements! Never put your company logo on top of a direct response ad. That is brand advertising.
Whenever you create an ad in any form, look at it from the customer’s point of view. Look at it and ask “Who gives a shit?” especially what it contains. Do you think the customer cares about your logo? No! They care about what you can do for them. Include benefits and not features. Let the customer know what you have to offer. A successful direct response ad for a small business includes several things:
- An offer to buy something.
- Sufficient information for the consumer to make the decision to act now (or instructions on how to obtain more information)
- An explicit “call to action” sooner rather than later
- A clear way to reply, such as a phone number or a web page.
- A means of tracking the response.
Direct response advertising is not only used for email campaigns. You use it in all forms of media: print, web, mail, and broadcast. Take a look at all the advertising you are currently doing no matter where you are and start making the switch now.
6. Use the Internet to advertise for free.
Even though websites as we know them have been around since the early 1990s, only 49% * of small businesses currently have a website * 9/08, Barlow Research. It is surprising how many companies do not understand how powerful this marketing tool is. If you don’t have a website, get one because there is no better source of free advertising.
The Internet has hundreds of “Web 2.0” websites where you publish “content” for free. The content can be text, videos or audios that you create and can lead people to your business. Plus, it helps you establish yourself as an expert in your field.
EzineArticles.com is one of those places where you can post content. There was no charge for publishing this article. All you had to do was write it, post it, and then you found it.
You can place links in the “author resource” section to drive traffic to a page on your website. The articles you publish on EzineArticles can rank extremely well in Google search results with a little help from you.
You also want your business to appear in places like Google Local if you do local business. Again this is absolutely free.
Once you learn how to use the internet for promotion, you will have a head start in the future of advertising and get customers for free.
7. Outsource routine marketing tasks so you can work on growing your business.
One of the biggest problems small business owners have is that they get so burdened by working ON their business that they don’t have time to work on their business. Then no growth can occur.
When it comes to promoting yourself online, there are ways to use “virtual assistants” to do most of the work for you. A virtual assistant is someone you hire full or part time and who does the work for you.
But a virtual assistant is not a direct employee, so it does not provide benefits or has the normal annoyances of an employee. They are usually found somewhere in the world that has low wages, so they are very affordable. That is the beauty of the Internet and the communication it provides.
However, virtual assistants aren’t limited to just small business marketing plan tasks. They can do just about anything for you: reservations, scheduling appointments, answering phones, customer service, sending flowers, buying a gift for your spouse, finding someone to repair your car, website development, accounting, software development, writing , graphics or anything. you need.
There are many resources on the Internet that can help you find a virtual assistant.
Create Your Small Business Marketing Plan Now!
Use these seven marketing tips to start building your small business marketing plan right now. If you procrastinate, your busy life will get in the way of business growth. Even if you only follow a little of the advice you’ve been given, you will find that it can have a huge impact on the profitability of your business.