If you’ve just started a new business one of your major tasks is acquiring new customers. When it comes to marketing a new business one of the problems that you face is getting the word out about your products or services at a price that won’t eat up your capital at too fast a rate. When you consider that 9 out of 10 new businesses that fail site a lack of funds as the reason for their failure you can quickly see that spending too much on your advertising and marketing campaigns can be dangerous. With this in mind we put together a list of several excellent and economical ways that you can market your business and start getting new clients without breaking your budget or using your startup capital to quickly. Enjoy.
- While Internet advertising and social media are all good and well the fact is that it takes quite a bit of time to get up a good head of steam online as far as marketing is concerned. On the other hand, a small one or two color postcard with your best ad and a great promotion can, in many cases, drive a huge volume of traffic to either your website or your brick-and-mortar location. In many cases the investment cost is quite low also. The most important factor here is to have an incredible deal that, while it might even be at a small loss, introduces new customers to your services and products.
- Spread your marketing over a number of different tactics and approaches. Simply put, there is no single marketing effort that you can rely on 100% of the time. Keeping that in mind you should, within reason, use several different communication lines to get information about your business and your services to the public. Make sure that all of your marketing portrays your business in a similar fashion so that, when people see different advertisements on different media from your company, they don’t get confused as to who you are and what you do
- Start getting feedback and collecting testimonials from customers as soon as you can. One habit that definitely can help any business to grow is to send a survey to every customer that makes a purchase and, if they respond very favorably, ask them for permission to use their testimonial in future advertisements. This also entails having the proper legal documentation so make sure you have this covered as well before using any testimonials for marketing purposes.
- If there are other businesses that are similar to yours but not necessarily in competition with you, consider advertising together with them on postcards, newspaper ads and even on the radio and TV. Not only will this save you money as far as your marketing costs but also, since your businesses may complement each other, it opens the door to a whole new avenue of prospective customers.
- The way you or your employees answer the telephone can make or break your business. Answering the phone and talking about a special offer at the same time is a great way to not only greet potential customers but let them know about any specials or offers that you are currently running. Instructing your people on how to answer the phone and how to treat and react to new callers in the most favorable way possible is vitally important. We’ve heard many stories about companies with excellent services and products but, because the person answering the phone was so unprofessional, the business suffered and went belly up. For this reason you and your people should treat every single person that calls your business phone number as the most important person that you’ve spoken to that day.
- If you’re sending out direct mail pieces or letters to your customers on a regular basis you should include a handwritten note of greetings or to talk about any specials or promotions that you might currently have. A Post-it note on a letter is going to be the first thing that a prospective customer looks at, acting like a mini billboard to grab their attention. In some cases they might not even read the letter but they’ll certainly read that sticky note and it might be all the impetus they need to make a purchase.
- Immediately after a customer has purchased something from your store or purchased services you should send them an email, a text message or a note offering to either increase their services, give them a discount off their next purchase or anything that you think might entice them to directly make another purchase. Creating a bit of urgency with a rapid expiration date is a great idea as well.
- Newsletters are still an incredibly powerful and viable option especially if you are a new business owner. Newsletters will help you to focus your market on customers that have already made purchases and also open the door to new customers who may not have heard of your services but had your newsletter forwarded to them by a family member or colleague. Sending printed newsletters is quite costly obviously but still should be considered. Newsletters via email and the Internet, while they still will take as much effort to create, will obviously cost a lot less to send to current and prospective customers and should definitely be added into your marketing mix. There are very few marketing methods that are better than newsletters for keeping your business ‘top of mind’ and reminding your core customers about how great you are and the excellent services and products that you offer.
- If you have a brick-and-mortar location you should definitely consider having an open house or a grand opening celebration. If your budget can handle it inviting vendors, renting a ‘bounce house’ for the kids and offering food and refreshments can go a long way to show the community who you are and give you the opportunity to give them brochures and other information about what you do. If what you are selling is a service that’s quite valuable you might consider giving a seminar, charging a fee for it and limiting the attendance. The fact is, even though you might think that charging a fee will keep people away it actually does the opposite and gives them the impression that what you’re going to be giving is valuable.
- If there are businesses in your town that are complementary to yours you may consider bartering with them so that they get your service and you get theirs. Once you’ve done that you can actually talk to people about their services and, more importantly, they can talk to people about yours. In this way you can help each other out and possibly make a good friend and future business partner in the process.
Starting a new business today is difficult and stressful, to say the least. The odds are certainly against you but the entrepreneurial spirit in America is still very strong and, if you use the tips and advice that we’ve given you above for your marketing plan, you’ll have a much better chance for success. Best of luck with your new business and make sure to come back and visit us here on our blog regularly as will be offering more advice for you budding entrepreneurs on a regular basis. See you then.