For a small business entrepreneur, improving and growing business, with planning new marketing and advertising strategies in order to attract more potential clients and customers may be a challenging task. However, taking the time to think and plan appropriately can improve the changes that your business will do better. It’s time to take change and make it work for you! Here are a few simple tips that will help you to improve your company’s status and attract more clients!
The first and most important advice is to never stop learning. There are lots of free and low cost educational programs and websites on the Internet that help small business owners to learn how to keep up with the changes in new trends, networking, sales techniques and so on. For instance, according to Jeff Cobb, there are more than 35+ online business education sites that can provide you with all necessary knowledge. Starting from ‘Free Management Library’ that provides resources regarding the leadership, management of yourself, other individuals, groups and organizations and finishing with SMExcellence which is a free online learning system that helps to improve your small business and financial management skills so you can collect all the useful information regarding business improvements!
It is also very important to teach your employees. You have to motivate and reward them in order to get better results. You should have regular positive meetings, inspire them, and listen to their ideas and new strategies. According to Small Business Trends, talking and sharing opinions with employees should be a priority, because it helps to communicate better and achieve better results! It can also create a friendly atmosphere in the work place, which improves everyone’s mood and work performance.
Most importantly, if you want to improve your business you have to make sure that your customers are happy. One way to do that is to create surveys after a purchase, and ask if there is anything that could have been improved with the transaction, product, service etc. Send thank notes, make sure every employee in your company has the ability to make a client’s interaction with your company as smooth and trouble free as possible. You can also improve relations with you clients by giving them free gifts with your company’s logo. It will not only please them, but it will also help you to advertise your company’s name better. As a small business owner myself, I can say that business gifts are perhaps the most powerful thing. For the last couple of years, I have been using EMC Advertising Gifts service (www.emcadgifts.co.uk/) and I immediately started to get attention from my clients. Giving free advertising gifts made it an excellent way of building, growing and improving relationships with my clients.
To conclude, running a small business can be a hard task, especially if you are new entrepreneur. However, there are many things to do to improve your business strategy! Communicate with your employees and clients, learn new things and teach others and eventually you will see a difference!
Getting your business out there can sometimes feel like screaming at a sound-proof wall. No matter how you try to plan your campaign, no matter which clever avenues you take, oftentimes the response from Joe Public is pitiful. In hard times such as these, money and resources can go to waste trying to engage audiences in your product/services.
These days, adverts for well established companies are designed to show off the production value of the company rather than the product. Do you remember the car advert that featured the car as a giant transformer-style dancing robot? Do you remember which company it was? Creating a memorable image to go with your product is a task in itself, nevermind labelling the image with your company name. There are more cost-effective means of advertising your company, and sometimes they can prove much more suited to your company image.
Types of Advertising
DTD: Door to door advertising is another option your business might consider taking. Taking the time to offer your company’s services directly to a person works on a much more social level: direct interaction in an environment the public is comfortable in. This is very important: the more comfortable a potential client feels around your company label, the better your customer relationship will be. This is why many mainstream adverts try to create a ‘tone’ or ‘feel’ for the product before actually advertising it. Companies like Direct Letterbox Marketing are a fine example of this kind of marketing. You can find out more about door to door advertising by clicking here and reading how Direct Letterbox manage their distribution team. It’s a time-proven method: delivering information straight to someone’s door guarantees that it will be seen.
DRA: Another time-honoured method can be found in direct response advertising, a way of ‘breaking the 4th wall’ with potential clients. Companies like All Reponse Media (linked) create marketing campaigns which engage costumers/clients through interactive media. Infomercials; typically associated with cheesy 50s ads, were the popular form of direct response advertising until the last decade when social media became the more effective solution.
Social Media: With social media, a potential client has the option to interact with your company depending on what you do with your internet space. Once you have designed a way to make your content fun and interesting for a user, they have the option to share your page with their friends. With over a billion Facebook users and over 500 million Twitter accounts, coverage through direct response media can stretch much further than traditional methods. See this article for 5 social media marketing tips to get some ideas for your campaign.
Directly engaging with potential clients is crucial for attracting attention to a business, and now it’s easier than ever. For a much more detailed list of marketing tips, check out these business tips, especially the ‘cost-effective marketing’ section.
Perhaps the biggest revolution of the internet for me has been the change it has made to the way I shop for things. Everything from holidays to my weekly groceries are bought via the internet. The high street shops are just show rooms for me now. I go in, check out things that I’m interested in and promptly reach for my smartphone to find out how much cheaper I can get them online.
One site that I especially love is e-bay. I love the auction format for buying things. Over the years I’ve had some real bargains. Admittedly I’ve lost out to a higher bid at the last second a number of times too. I’ve also used e-bay to sell lots of things that I no longer need or that I made a mistake in buying in the first place.
My recent e-bay activity has been extremely high volume. I have gone into partnership with a friend who produces the most exquisite wall canvasses and framed prints. Whilst she has all the artistic talent and skill at making the canvasses, she has no experience at selling on e-bay. I’m using the skills I’ve already gained from my personal use of e-bay and using some information which I found on e-bay for setting up our own store.
We are still within our first month and sales are reasonably encouraging. My partner is working full time at the business; whilst I’m managing to keep my regular job going and deal with the e-bay side of things in my evenings and lunch hours from work. My colleagues at my day job have kind of got used to me turning up with armfuls of parcels that I take to the post office to send in my lunch break.
The parcels vary a lot in size and they all use up quite a bit of packaging. Canvasses are pretty fragile so need bubble wrap and brown paper to protect them. Going out for more packaging supplies soon became a chore so I found a reliable supplier of packaging supplies online – well where else would I look! Being able to order in the supplies we need in bulk has been a huge time saver for me.
It is very early days for our business. If things keep going in the way we have experienced then I might be able to consider working for the business full time in the near future. If you’re thinking of starting out on your own in business then I can thoroughly recommend using e-bay as your sales outlet. There are some great tips to be found on this techradar page if you are considering setting up your own business using e-bay.