Since I began working with small businesses a few years back, a common theme has become clear: while most business owners are excited about the prospect of revamping their brand and marketing strategy, the underlying concern is that the money they invest would be of better use spent on other aspects of business operations.
After all, for many small businesses, the majority of your traffic will come directly from members of your community. Yet while it is important to have a regular clientele, the emphasis of a marketing strategy is to attract new eyes to your business and let potential clients know who you are, where you are, and why they should shop with you as opposed to your competitor.
For the uninitiated, starting a brand overhaul & strategy from scratch can seem like a jigsaw puzzle, so understanding what components can help bring more customers through the door is vital to knowing where to start.
1. Calculate a marketing budget, and set goals for spending
Once you decide you want to invest in a marketing campaign, the first thing to take into account is your budget. If you already have a successful business, now may be a good time to invest more and take care of any niggling problems you’ve been encountering.
If you are a new business and don’t have the capital to take care of everything at once, don’t fret! By tackling one aspect of your business at a time, you’ll be able to find what avenues drive the most traffic for you, so as your business grows, you can be more concise with your spending decisions.
2. Know your audience
Running a business is time consuming, there’s no other way to say it. After spending 18 hours a day making sure things are running smoothly, the last thing you want to do is fish for online engagements in order to sell your product. In order to be as proficient as possible with your marketing, you have to know who it is you are selling goods to. The easier it is to identify your target market, the less money and time you will have to spend trying to generate leads.
3. Create a Unique Logo & Brand
For 99% of us (excluding the 1% of you who are complete workaholic maniacs), this is our favorite and most exciting part of a marketing strategy. Everyone who has a business wants their business to stand out, and there is no easier or more eye catching way to do so than by having a strong logo and brand presence. This includes imagery, fonts, color patterns, anything that others identify with your business.
Although it may seem more like a “you” purchase, having good morale about the identity of your business is never a bad thing, and can benefit you in more ways than one. Having a well known brand can not only increase sales, but make it easier to find new employees as well.
4. Have a place where people can find you and learn more
Whether you have an in-person store, you sell products D2C, or you provide a service to others via word of mouth, it is vital to have a virtual location where people can find you and learn more about your business at any time. For many, this will be in the form of a website, or Shopify site. For others, this may be an Instagram or Facebook page. No matter what service you provide, you will benefit from others being able to find you without having to seek you out.
5. Establish a network of other like minded business owners
An important point to keep in mind as a small business owner is that you are not alone, and there are others like you who have similar struggles, highs and lows. Get to know your neighboring businesses and talk to them about what they do, brainstorm with them and see if they are interested in operating with a synergistic relationship. Refer customers to shop with other local owners, and they will do the same for you. Establish yourself as a value within your community, and let others know you can depend on one another.
6. Experiment with an alternative sales model
2020 was the hardest year in a lot of people’s lives, and business owners are far from the exception. Lots of people lost a lot of momentum throughout the year, and some had to begin trying new ways to ensure they make ends meet. If you own your own business, I implore you to try things you wouldn’t normally do. Do a livestream and talk about what you have coming up. Reach out to your regular network of clients and ask them what they would like to see. Gauge the interest in selling services such as classes or workshops.
No matter what, don’t give up on yourself and your business by throwing in the towel.
Remember, there are others like you, who experience the same ups and downs. There are others out there who are willing to help you and make sure you’re able to continue serving those in your community. If you take these steps and implement them into your company, we promise you will see an increase in engagement, traffic, and ultimately sales.