Small businesses have had a bit of a renaissance thanks to the power of the internet and helpfulness of digital marketing. If you’re starting a small business or plan to in the coming months, there are some key foundational tenants you should always keep in mind. Starting any business is difficult and it takes careful planning and forethought to beat out your competition and keep your business running smoothly. Here are the most important marketing keys and methods to keep in mind while running your business.
- Know your vision and execute it
- Create customer profiles
- Do everything to retain customers
Define And Execute Your Company’s Vision
When you begin to market your company to new and prospective clients, you’ll want to first establish who you are and what you’re trying to accomplish. Creating goals is one of the most important steps in perfecting your marketing plan before it even gets off the ground. To create these goals, you’ll want to keep in mind S.M.A.R.T.
That is, you’ll want to create goals which are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. This acronym will help you create realistic and efficient goals, which you an accomplish within months or a year’s time, and which will help you address deficiencies within your company right out of the gate. Remember to set goals which are reachable and help propel your company forward.
Get To Know Your Customers
Knowing your customers can mean interacting with them from your website or social media, but these are goals to attain down the road. When you’re getting started with your marketing campaign, you’ll want to know your customer base in a broad sense. You’ll need to answer a variety of questions about who you’re selling to and why they’re buying from your company, rather than your competition.
For example, how much do your customers make annually? Are they married? Single? Single with kids? What’s driving them toward your brand and away from your competition? It always pays to come up with a customer profile to answer these questions and many more, because when you know who your customer is and what they want, you’ll know how to sell to them efficiently and effectively.
Establish Your Unique Selling Proposition
A unique selling proposition, or USP, is specific and defined reason that your customers are buying from you and not your competition. The unique selling proposition demonstrates the value you offer customers through your company that no one else can. This is an important factor of your business to define because it illustrates what’s unique and distinct about your company, two traits which are increasingly difficult to hit on in recent years.
The market is stuffed full of small businesses all claiming to be unique, but you need to define why and how. Typically, your unique selling proposition will reflect your company’s knowledge, experience, or expertise in your industry. The USP can also hit upon your price points, unique vision, or core company values. Whatever your unique selling point is, you need to define and emphasize it immediately and often.
One of the reasons so many small businesses have popped up over the last several years is because of the power the digital domain provides them. The internet is a vast and easy place, making small business operations streamlined and attracting customers from all over the country like never before. Your business needs an online presence to maximize its profits and attract as many customers as you can as quickly as possible. Give your customers a website that’s easy to navigate and offers a clear picture of what you do and how you do it.
Additionally, your domain name should be simple and straightforward, using your company’s name prominently within your URL. Giving your customers a website to find will increase your search engine optimization capabilities and gradually make you the go-to company for answering questions your customers are searching for online. You can also set up a blog and social media to further interact with your customers, giving them a demonstration of your company’s knowledge and reputation within your industry.
Focus On Customer Retention
Most small businesses make the mistake of trying to attract new customers without focusing on their existing client base. While procuring new clients is always a plus, the customers you already have are actually a powerful and lucrative resource. Studies have been done demonstrating that it actually costs more than five times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain existing customers. This means that your marketing’s job is not done once your customers have made a purchase or subscribed to your service.
There are a myriad of opportunities for your customers to make a repeat purchase or upsell them on some great products and premium services that only you can offer. Your existing customers most likely already know and trust you, so these practices should come easily to your company, naturally. Even if you don’t find an opportunity to make some of your customers repeat customers, you should still do everything in your company’s power to make them happy and appreciated, as word of mouth is also a powerful tool in your company’s arsenal.