If you’re just starting out, then depending on the industry you are entering, you may hold marketing as being secondary, in many respects, to your day-do-day focus on ‘just getting the job done’.
This may be particularly true for tradesman and those entering the service industry, but no matter what your service or business offering, an active and creative marketing strategy can prove invaluable.
Research is a key part of the marketing process so basically you are only as good as your research. It's like the foundations of a house. If they are substandard and below par (quick golf analogy there - God I miss playing golf) then the whole lot will come crashing down around you - just the same with your marketing. Spend time finding out the facts about your potential customers and also about your competitors. Don't copy your competitors obviously, that's just daft, but do go one better, be the best you can be and you will always be one step in front of everyone else.
Communication is key – mix it up
Marketing is a way to engage new customers, which is so important when, in the current climate, financial pressures may cause your current customer base to shrink, that said, it also encourages existing customers to stay with you. There are now more channels of communication than ever before, and if you get a good mix across the board then you could soon reap the benefits.
Established business?– get back to basics
When you have been in business a while, especially as a small-medium sized business, or when time pressures are tight, there is a tendency to focus only on what has worked in the past. If a certain channel of communication has proven successful, then it can be tempting to just keeping doing it. Whilst it’s fair to say that ’if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’, it is also important to be aware of new opportunities available and also to have a look at any areas within your business which you may have let slip. Get back to basics, refresh the activity you are doing and make sure you are covering all the angles.
Equally, when business is booming it can be easy to place marketing on the back-burner. But when a busy spell inevitably starts to slow you may find yourself behind and even back to square one. You have always got to stay one step ahead of your competition!
Communicate – don’t forget the power of public relations
PR is an essential part of the marketing mix. It can take many shapes and forms, but ultimately helps communicate your business messages to those key audiences you wish to reach. If PR is not something you are familiar with, then don’t be afraid to seek professional support from experts. One skill for any entrepreneur to learn – knowing when to delegate.
Get online – take advantage of the web
A clear, user friendly website has never been so important. More and more people then ever before are using the internet, even the Silver Surfers are getting in on the act. Consumers, your potential customers are accessing the internet and using it as a research tool, helping them make an informed decision on future spends and who with. Investing in your website and making sure it is up to date with the latest prices, contact details and business developments is vital to ensure you are not missing out.
Your website is the electronic face of your business. It communicates your brand, your services and your values, so make sure it is saying what you want it to say and keep it up-to-date
Do you witter or twitter? – social networking could help your business
The internet is now a daily part of many people’s lives and millions of individuals are now members of social networking sites and other new media. Businesses are increasingly seeing the benefits of social networking sites as a way to engage with customers on a further level. Along with newspapers, magazines, campaign groups, industry figures and politicians, anyone keen to communicate is now getting involved. See if a presence on a social site could benefit you.
If times are tough – consider carefully before making cuts
When times are tough and budgets are tight the first casualty can often be your marketing spend. But I would advise anyone thinking of cutting back to reconsider. When competition for work grows exponentially, and it undoubtedly will, whether now or in a few months time, you need to ensure you are visible, available and providing the best service you can.
Cybergal Solutions are here to help you with all your Marketing, Business Development and Sales. With 20 years of experience and a wealth of happy clients you really can't go wrong.
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