How to effectively market your business, writes Shannon Rosenberg
I always find myself searching google on how to do stuff? My best search was how to clean aged copper products. Google suggested a YouTube video and bob was my uncle. I found what I was looking for, the video gave me exact details on how to use some home ingredients to clean my copper products, suffice to say, the results were phenomenal. I felt uber smart and I haven’t stopped searching ‘how to’ stuff since! With this being said, I have noticed that quite often when searching how to on Google, that Google pre-suggests what my search is or what my search may be and the thing I always notice is what people or business owners are searching the web for.
This is what this month’s article is about: How to market my small biz. This got me thinking, how many small business owners in South Africa are searching for the same thing?
If you are currently a small business owner or planning to be one, chances are you are on the internet quite often, in fact you might just be spending most of your working day online. That is if you’re not out knocking on corporate doors selling your business to potential buyers. Now, the fact that this search suggestion comes up so often gives me insight as to what small business owners need or want to know better for themselves. Which is a great thing because it means that you realise you have the power to effectively grow your business and just generally want to now more. Not every business owner is equipped with all the knowledge it takes to run a business, at the very beginning of it, and that is understandable of course. You learn a lot of what must be known on the job! But what you do know for certain is that there is a product and or a service that must be sold to a consumer who needs or wants what your business has to offer.
Starting a small business today is not very difficult. In fact, in South Africa today, we have many enterprises and government organisations and initiatives that help make it affordable and most definitely possibly to pursue your business goals. However, the onus is still on you to understand why you are in business and who you will sell too. Knowing your product or service and knowing yourself is one thing. But understanding how to market your business is something else. You could be an amazing sales person with a great offering, you may even have the world’s most amazing product/s. But if you can’t get your offering to its market then you don’t really have a successful business. Promoting your offering to a potential customer with a fancy business card does guarantee you a sale. It only just means you have wasted money. Why? Because you have paid for that business card and got more of a compliment for the fancy business card than you did for your business offering. But if you have promoted your offering to a potential customer who noticed your business’s marketing efforts and they have contacted as a result of this, then you are guaranteed a sale. Why??? Well because you have effectively managed to engage the individual/s interest in your business’s offering.
The How to market my small biz search is so successful among small business owners today because it teaches the individual the basics and most important fundamentals of marketing. The search will yield the results I have listed here and this is because the practices below have been the foundation of all marketing principles, commonly known as the marketing mix, since the 1960’s.
You must research the need of your product or service, hopefully this would have been done before you started the actual business.
You must understand who your target market is, this is the people whom you want to buy your offering.
You must understand where most of your business will come from and the demographic of this buyer. This is the specific details of the potential buyer and the reason for this is to better understand your buyer so you can sell more product to them, without having to physically force your product on them. This is a time-consuming study and is not immediately revenue producing activity but is absolutely necessary for the continuous success of the business.
You need to know where to price your offering. If you enter the market too low, you risk turning a loss and if your prices are too high, well then you are not competitive and risk people not buying from you.
Once you are certain of all of the above, you now have to focus on promotion. How to get my product to its market.
Along with the above, the search will also show results of today’s most common and also effective marketing practices. These results will be more digitally focused as most of today’s consumers of any product or service will track and find you online either via a computer or their mobile phones. This means that a large majority of your marketing efforts will and has to be digitally focused. To be more specific, what I mean small business owner, is that you will have to learn how to market your business online.
Be sure to have an online presence. This is mainly your company’s website which should be built by a professional as it needs to be user and mobile friendly. Your website is your online business card, only with a lot more information and insight to your business.
Be sure to be found on Google. If you can’t be found on Google, then your business is hiding in some dark road with no pedestrians to see what you have on offer. This is search engine optimization or better known as SEO.
Social media today, is like currency. If your business not on social media, well then… your chances of transacting are slim. You should not only aim to have a social media presence but aim to have it optimised and specifically targeted to your market. Please do keep your viewers engaged, enlightened and entertained in your posts as they help grow your business. Social media is todays word-of-mouth.
Have a monthly emailing campaign to your customer base. Inform them of what is happening in your business and what the latest deals are. Keep them interested.
And then repeat the above efforts weekly to grow your brand.
These digital marketing efforts are the basics and very simple to affect and will guarantee brand development, business growth and more sales! Searching How to market my small biz is a search you should do at least once a month as it brings up every article, post, company, technique and the what not to do’s you will need when learning how to market your small business. My hope for you is that you will be very successful in your marketing endeavours and the growth of your business.
Article by Shannon Rosenberg, Director and Owner of Eighty6 Marketing (Pty) Ltd