Small Business Marketing Tips
By Dean McNamara
Surviving in the competitive market place is an essential strategy for any business these days. Spending has to be trimmed to the bare minimum. The days of throwing large amounts of money at advertising campaigns without measurable results has gone.
Small business marketing campaign cut-backs have had a flow on effect. Traditional media are also feeling the effects of this change in marketing budgets. So if you do have money to spend on advertising now is an excellent time to negotiate large discounts on prime time marketing.
For those business unable to stretch their budget to accommodate traditional media marketing you are also in luck. It has never been cheaper to advertise using online marketing.
If are already doing online marketing and need something to compliment that strategy, or you need more customers tomorrow not next week, here are some small business marketing tips that you might like to try.
Design a flyer. It is possible to get flyers made cheaply using online services - if you have a good printer you can manufacture them yourself (although you need to consider the time saved and costs of materials compared to professional companies).
Do not create "just another advertising flyer." Make sure you have a compelling reason for a person to take action after reading your flyer.
Deliver your flyers locally. You might walk to work taking a different route each day (or at least stop along the way and drop flyers up one side of a street and back down the other before carrying on to work). You might spend Saturday delivering fliers as a family bonding exercise. Or you might have a company bonding flyer drop day. Make it fun, and even competitions (the family that delivers the most, or that signs up the most customers on the day).
Flyers can also be mailed. A cheaper rate can usually be negotiated if you contact your local mail distributor directly. School children looking for pocket money can be another source of delivery agents but be careful in who you choose. It is not unheard of for the delivery to take place in the dumpster around the corner.
Local notice boards: Do not underestimate the power of advertising on local notice-boards, such as in the local supermarket or corner dairy if your local retailer allows this. Use your flyer, or design a small poster specifically for this kind of marketing. It is usually best to have tear-off phone numbers for interested parties to take away.
Community Events: Getting your face known in the community is one of the best way to attract local business. A face that people can put to the company, so when they see your advertising around the place they know who you are.
Set up a stand at as many local events as you can. They might be big trade fairs, or they might be the gathering of the local knitting club. Even if your target market might not be at the event you can bet they are related to, or friends with, someone who is. And people will talk about you if they like you.
Speaking Events: Again, this is about getting in front of your local community. If you are an expert on your topic, or you at least know more than most people, and one would hope you are if you are in business, tell people about it.
There are many business groups and networks that meet regularly and invite guest speakers to such events. If you are a plumber, you can provide valuable tips on saving water, or the latest innovative plumbing systems, or anything that is providing value to potential clients. Imagine how many clients you might pick up after speaking at a local property investors meeting for example.
Speak at as many events as you can. It does not matter if they don't seem relevant to your target audience. An elderly lady at a knitting club may have a son who is property developer and could land you six months plumbing work (if you were a plumber). So always give your best presentation. And make sure you take plenty of cards or flyers to hand out.
These have been just a few ideas to get you started. Browse our other small business marketing articles or use the Contact Us page to have NZ Marketing Systems work with you on your next marketing project.