NO EXCUSES – MARKETING TIPS FOR BUSINESS OWNERS
Running a small business is chalk full of proverbial ups and downs. When it’s good, it’s so good. For retailers, the holidays remind you that it’s all worthwhile. Accommodations wait patiently for high season. It ebbs and flows, loops and turns and for most of us in the early phase, consistency is but a luxury. So it’s understandable why so many struggle to plan and execute their marketing.
Prior to being a small business owner myself, I too would use the formulas. Companies should spend 4% – 5% of their annual revenue on marketing to maintain their brand position. More if they are just breaking into the market. After all, you have to spend money to make money, right?
In theory yes but the money in the bank doesn’t lie and the reality for most of us is that there always seems to be something more important that needs your money at any given time.
This day and age where it’s easy to be forgotten and brand loyalty is fleeting; marketing is important. To be effective, marketing requires momentum and momentum requires consistency. While it doesn’t all have to do with costly ad buys and big budgets, it does require care and attention and possibly the most significant commodity of all – time.
The good news? There are many ways you can leverage both your time and your money, and still make an impact for your business:
- Know your audience: Marketing 101, not everyone is your customer and the faster you learn to embrace this, the more strategic you can be with, well, everything. You can create a unique and customized experience that entices them to tell their friends, and participate in marketing channels that are more likely to reach them (rather than simply buying advertising on a platform because there’s a deal or because your competitors are there).
- Be strategic: Not all ideas are good ideas. Countless time and money is wasted on contests that don’t generate ROI, or sales that generate only short term results. Think through each and every decision. Will this appeal to your ideal customer? Will the results do more harm than good? We call this the sales vortex. The struggle is real.
- Be more visible: We’re all tired at the end of the day. Keep going. Take someone out for coffee or lunch. Attend a mixer or workshop. Do something that gets you out and in the community every week. You can’t have too many friends in business.
- Enhance your online presence: I’m not even going to say “get an online presence” because if by now you don’t have one, you need a difference article. Connect to your audience on their chosen site (which may not necessarily be your favorite!) Expand to a different platform, take a workshop for inspiration, make updates to your website. Enhance your video, photography or design. It’s easy to become stale but also easy to make small changes that help you stand out.
Some of the most successful business owners today are not necessarily spending the greatest amount of money but rather investing their time and working at it.