Marketing 101 for Small Businesses

Updated: Apr 26, 2019

Marketing can be overwhelming, especially when your expertise lies elsewhere. But all businesses need a solid marketing plan to succeed - whether it's in the medical, fashion or restaurant industry. If you've just launched a business or are thinking of starting one, you'll first need to know marketing fundamentals before all else. After all, how do you expect to attract new customers?!


Below is a brief overview of marketing best practices to help guide you in building brand awareness of your business, attract customers and ultimately turn a profit.


DO YOUR RESEARCH

You can’t market your business until you know the lay of the land. What are the trends in your industry? Who are your competitors? Is your product new to the market or on the verge of being extinct? Think about doing a SWOT Analysis, which outlines the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of your business. Once you understand the landscape and what you’re up against, only then can you start to implement a plan.


KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE

Marketing isn’t effective unless you’re speaking to the right audience. Understand exactly who you’re targeting, then determine the most effective ways to reach them. If for example, you’re selling men's ties, you will want to drill down the demographics of who might be buying a tie. Likely your target audience will be businessmen aged 25 - 65. Then you'll need to identify key channels where you might be able to reach them with your target message, such as business magazines or sporting events.


KNOW YOUR MESSAGE

Knowing your audience is only half the battle – you need to determine exactly what you’re saying to them. Marketing is all about persuasion, so doing your research to understand your audience will be extremely beneficial in crafting your message. For example, perhaps you're a dentist and you know from experience that many clients have a fear of the dentist and any possible pain from procedures. You may want to highlight the fact that you take a gentle approach and hope to make all patients feel as comfortable as possible.


MAKE A PLAN

Marketing without a plan is like throwing darts in the dark. Identifying goals and mapping out a plan to achieve them will keep you on track and ensure you’re achieving maximum impact. Once you’ve identified your goals, audience and messages, you can outline the tactics or ways to deliver your message to your audience.


BUDGET

You don’t need a lot of money to market your business, but you should allot some of your revenue to marketing to make a major impact. Luckily there are lots of free marketing opportunities, such as securing stories in local media, contributing to online forums and social media or posting flyers in supermarkets. Try and leverage existing initiatives to piggyback on, such as a local event. Stretching your resources by reducing workload and budget while still achieving maximum impact should be your goal.


If you still don't know where to start, we can help. Contact us for a free 15-minute consultation about how we can assist you in getting a marketing plan off the ground.