Marketing Basics for Small Businesses

Your Marketing Questions Answered

All small business owners want their business to grow, but marketing can sometimes seem confusing and expensive. The best way to market your small business is to increase your customer base and then increase revenue and profit. This process is called organic growth.

But how do I encourage organic growth?
First, acquire new customers so that you have a larger customer base because you then pull revenue from a larger base. Once you have more customers, you can focus on how to increase the revenue from each individual customer by persuading them to buy more products or more expensive products. This way, you first get more customers, and then increase the revenue gained from each customer.

How do I acquire more customers with marketing?
First research and create a marketing plan that targets your specific market. This is called target marketing. Target marketing is very important to small businesses because every business meets a specific need for a product or service. You will waste your time trying to be everything for everyone. Focus your marketing on the type of person who needs your product or service. Then you can target your marketing strategies towards the people who are most likely to buy your product or use your service.

But I’m a small business, and I don’t have a lot of money for marketing!
There are many low-cost ways to market your small business. Consider advertising with your vendors by featuring their products and sharing the advertising costs as well. Create buying incentives for existing customers to attract repeat business. Position yourself as an expert in your field by contacting the local media or giving speeches to the local Chamber of Commerce. Get involved in local community events to get your name out to potential customers or donate your company time or services to local charitable events such as walkathons. Participating in these events often means free publicity.

But how do I know that marketing is working?
Make sure to keep track of the fruits of your labor. This can be as simple as asking customers where they heard of you. You can also code your advertisements and coupons so that you know which method brought the customer to you. This way you can see which marketing strategies are working for you and easily discontinue the ones that aren’t bringing in enough revenue.

There’s so much to do! How do I get started?
Start by setting aside time to create a marketing strategy. Brainstorm ways to market your business, and plot out the steps to make these strategies happen. Focus on implementing one strategy at a time. This will help you keep things organized and enable you to see which strategies work best for you. Implement the easiest and cheapest strategies first, such as asking your customers how they heard of you or offering specials to customers to encourage repeat business.