How to market a small business?
Here are 10 relatively low-cost, simple ways how to market a small business.
1. Free gifts/goodies
Who doesn’t like free stuff? So, don’t be shy to give away free goodies so that the customer will always remember you.
Some smart doctors who run their own private practice give away free bicycles for their kid patients who scored top marks in the exam. In case of sickness, who the parents will send their kids to?
Coupons and vouchers sound so dinosaur but whether you like or not, they still work like a charm today. In fact, one of the habits of the millionaires’ wives is collecting coupons for their next shopping spree (they’re probably too free to do anything else and you’d think they don’t need coupons with their millionaire status). Give your customers some coupons so that they can have some discounted price the next time they drop by at your shop.
3. Pay referral fee
Where marketing is concerned, there’s nothing like it than a good word of mouth advertising. A customer who is happy with your product and service is sure to recommend his colleagues, family, relatives and dogs to be part of it. So, why not offer them some small referral fees whenever they refer you to a new customer? Give them stimulant to continuously promote your product. It’s a win-win situation, really.
Look around and see what are the next events happening around your community – school reunion, barbeque, social gathering, political speech, friendly football matches, funfair, sports day, spelling competition and many others. Most likely, the event organizer could you some help from sponsors. So offer them free food, t-shirts, caps, tents and other merchandize that bears your company name.
Send greeting cards to your customers on their special occasion – birthday, Christmas, Independence Day, Moon Light festival, New Year and other festive occasions regardless if you are a car salesman, carpenter, plumber, engineer, real estate agent, mechanics and so on. A little thought goes a long way, don’t you think?
6. Back-end support
As part of adding values to your products or services, offer a back-end support that allows the customers to get back to you in case they need some technical support on the product. Without back-end support, sometimes, the customers who face problem became frustrated and in the end, concluded that your product is no good, and not worth it.
7. Mix offline and online marketing
If your business is online, go offline to market it. Similarly, leverage the power of internet to reach a greater audience if you’re running an offline business. Now, you’re combining the benefits of both worlds. Perhaps, after this, you realize that your product is not only hot around your community area, but is also very much looked after by those people in Cuba!
Run a contest and get as many people as possible to join. Don’t forget, reward them handsomely. Perhaps, you want to organize a closed competition which is only open to your existing customers. For example, you can hold a contest for them to design your new products. The winning contestant get a paid holiday, plus a new product bearing their name. Isn’t that cool?
9. Attend networking program
Spend your time not only in your shop or office, but go out and mingle around other businessmen – the like minded people. Attend talks, seminars, workshops, conventions and trade shows. Who knows, a 5 minute coffee talk can solve you a problem you’ve been facing for 5 years? Don’t be surprised. It does happen.
10. Joint-venture/cross promotion
While attending a networking program, you find yourself hooked up with a fellow small business owner who would be ideal for you to do cross promotion exercise. And it seems he loves the idea too, very much apparently. So, you have just opened up a whole new opportunity, and it’s time to double your customer database, and turn your small business into something humongous.