In so many ways, smaller businesses have different needs than large ones. That’s especially true when it comes to building a base of new customers. For owners, the wisest path is to develop a targeted strategy for marketing and promotion. No matter what you sell, it’s imperative to develop customer profiles, borrow what you need, get expert help, and do regular evaluations. Here are the pertinent details.
Develop a Typical Customer Profile
Do you know who your customers will be? Most founders and owners have a pretty good idea about the general description of the people who will be buying their goods and services. But it’s essential to try to dig into the details. Spend several hours doing online research to create a full-scale description of the average person in your target market. Aim to fill in details like the following in sentence form.
Our customers are primarily made up of married women who have one or more children under the age of five. The women have college degrees and work full-time while their kids are in daycare. They are middle income professionals whose husbands also work, and they are not apartment dwellers but homeowners. That’s just a sample, but the point is to include as many relevant details as possible.
Get a Personal Loan
Entrepreneurs can get so caught up in making strategies and financial plans that they overlook the importance of borrowing to bootstrap a unique idea. Applying for personal loans is the single most effective approach for diligent owners and founders in any industry, particularly for smaller startup entities. Paying for all the promotion-related expenses upfront is a technique that has multiple advantages. That’s especially true for people who get personal loans to pay in advance for advertising and marketing campaigns that might take a few weeks to show results.
It’s no secret that the ideal time to begin a full-scale advertising strategy is at least one month before the launch date. Consumers need time to see and hear the name of your company and find out what you do before they’re ready to visit a website or store and make a purchase. Consider the common tactic used by large corporations: They sometimes produce TV and internet ad spots up to a year before the new product or service goes on sale. A personal loan gives startup owners a chance to plan well ahead and pave the way for a successful grand opening.
Consult an Expert
When it comes to specific marketing and business plans, invest in the talents of outside experts. Unless you or one of your team members is a promotional expert or consultant, hire someone who has experience in assisting startups with managing all the tasks that go into a successful beginning. Too often, owners place too much emphasis on cutting expenses without realizing that they must spend enough money to get their organizations off the ground. There’s no substitute for expert advice. A talented marketing consultant will save your company money in the long run.
Use Low-Cost Tactics
Most startups are small or medium-sized companies that can gain from low-cost and no-cost sales tactics. Don’t overlook the power of these techniques just because they cost little. When you are trying to build and maintain your brand leveraging the power of at least two social media platforms comes with no out-of-pocket expense and only takes an hour or so per day to generate potentially huge numbers of new clients and sales volume. Use old-school methods like handing out business cards, posting flyers in local libraries, placing ads on free internet forums, and writing guest posts for relevant blogs. Consider doing a few online or in-person giveaways, making presentations to community groups, and connecting with a charitable organization.
Evaluate Results Monthly
Be sure to review advertising and marketing performance at least once per month. There’s no better way to know which channels and methods are delivering the most worthwhile results. These reviews are a critical part of the feedback loop that helps owners adjust and tweak their promotional efforts as their businesses grow.