How to Create a Small Business Marketing Strategy
In order to have lasting success, small business owners must be dedicated, persistent and smart. While opening your own business is still a fundamental part of the American Dream, it requires an uncommon level of commitment to your craft, product or service. This will make you an expert in your field, but that expertise does not always lead to success in business. You will also need effective marketing strategies to let people know about the product or service you provide.
Like most small business owners, you may have little to no experience in marketing. And you rarely have the time to focus on it. With so much on your plate from day one of building your business, you have probably not been able to learn how to properly market the company. This is why so many small business marketing strategies appear to be a general mish-mash of fragmented ideas and tactics from a variety of in-house and external sources.
While some of these simple marketing techniques can be slightly effective, they are still not achieving nearly as much as they should, unless part of a comprehensive marketing strategy. This article is designed to help small business owners understand the importance of an effective marketing strategy and provide some simple steps to begin creating one.
Keep It Simple
Many small businesses create overly complex marketing strategies which only lead to lots of confusion, headaches and eventually throwing the whole thing out. Your initial marketing plan does not have to be a complicated collection of statistics, spreadsheets, presentations, charts and graphs. The main function of your marketing strategy is to provide a guide that you and your team can follow to grow your business.
In order to follow the guide, you have to be able to understand it. The best way to begin is by asking some basic questions.
Who are you?
The first step in building a marketing strategy is referred to as situation analysis. All this means is an overview of your company. That’s who you are, what product or service your provide and what makes you stand out from the competition. It should include the strengths of your business as well as some weaknesses upon which you can improve.
Who are your customers?
The next step is determining who you hope to reach. Your marketing efforts will always be more successful if they are geared to a small demographic that should be interested in your product/service. This group will be your target audience.
What are your goals?
You will need to create some realistic, clearly defined goals for your marketing efforts. The more specific you can be with your goals, the better. These statistics will be the only way to really know how successful your marketing strategy is. This should also include your budget and how much you can spend to reach your goals.
How can your reach these goals?
This is where things get more complicated. Once you have your situation analysis, your target audience and your marketing goals, you need to begin the actual marketing techniques. If you have no experience in marketing, you will almost certainly need outside help at first. Once you have your basic strategy, small marketing firms, web design firms, video production companies, content writers and others can help implement the techniques that bring your strategy to life.