Small businesses form the backbone of the American economy, but they tend to fail so often. Over 21 percent of all new businesses fold before their first year is up, and a lot of these new venture turn out to be small companies. Small businesses may close because of; too much competition, limited market opportunities or lack of customers. There is a solution to these problems: good marketing strategies.
Unfortunately, many small businesses don’t see the value of good marketing. Respondents of a survey of small and medium businesses discovered that a shocking 50 percent didn’t have a marketing strategy for the year.
Here aresix easy but effective marketing plans you can use to boost your small business and ensure that it survives through these tough times.
- Get Listed Online
Putting your business online is no longer an option in today’s day and age. Whether your business deals with providing home loans or selling homemade jewelry, it needs to be easily located on search engines. Platforms such as Google often have dedicated features, like Google MyBusiness, that allows you to register your enterprise. Fill out these forms and look for other means to put your business online such as directories like Yelp. From now on, customers can find your store by searching its name on Google or any other search engines.
- Build a Website
A digital presence is a requirement for most businesses. Unless you’re running an enterprise like a Subway franchise or similar business, you’ll need your own website to advertise your store and reach out to potential customers.
If you’re intimidated by the prospect of designing and maintaining your own website, don’t worry. There are plenty of online platforms that provide easy-to-use website templates that you just input your photos and information. Thanks to these platforms, you’ll find that its easier than ever to build a website dedicated to your business.
- Leverage Social Media
There are literally billions of people on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, enough so that they’ve become microcosms of the real world. Unless you want to be outstripped by your competitors, you will make several social media accounts for your business concurrently with your website. Social media platforms allow you to contact and connect with potential customers. It’s also easier to buy advertising space on social media platforms, and they let you target your audience more carefully. Not taking advantage of what social media platforms can offer is tantamount to bankruptcy in today’s environment.
- Be More Visible
Aside form expanding your reach on digital horizons, like social media and search engines, you also need to improve your visibility on a local scale. There are two ways to achieve increased visibility. The first is through direct marketing attempts like posters, bench ads and similar advertising gimmicks. The second is by far more effective. Engage more with your community by contributing to charitable efforts like food drives or donation drives. You can sponsor local contests to foster appreciation for local talent or support other philanthropic efforts in the area. All these efforts can result in good publicity for your small business and increase customer recognition.
- Email Clients
Although more and more people are using instant messaging programs, email remains a powerful force for marketing. People routinely check their emails for work announcements and occasional notifications from businesses. Solicit emails from clients through your website by exchanging services or information.
Once you have their emails, you can begin sending them personalized correspondence designed to make them buy from your business. For example, you can send them emails about sales, new products and other developments in your company. The point is to pique their interest and get them to visit your site again, maybe even turn them into customers.
- Form Business Partnerships
Other businesses can help you improve your own standing and offer lucrative marketing opportunities. Look for compatible businesses in your area that aren’t competitors. For example, if you make homemade cookies and cakes, you can form partnerships with a local events organizer. They can recommend you to their clients who are planning birthdays and you can recommend them to your customers in return. This quid-pro-quo situation will greatly benefit both of your businesses and help strengthen your ties with one another.
Running a small business can be difficult. But with the right marketing strategy behind you, you can focus your energies in other facets of your enterprise. These simple strategies are only the tip of the marketing iceberg. Explore other tactics and plans on your own and you can develop the perfect strategy that may launch your business in to success.