The problem with many small business owners is that they take the business of running their businesses too seriously.
True, business is about getting people to open their wallets to buy your product or service.
Alas, many businesses miss the link between the wallet and the product or service.
That’s right – people!
A lot of small business marketing loses sight of this simple fact.
The truth is there are a lot of excellent but little known small business marketing tricks. They remain little known because all these small business marketing tricks have to do with people.
Marketing your business is all about communication. And communication is, of course, all about people. Reaching out to them. Getting their attention. Getting them to understand your message. And getting them to act on that message. In fact, your whole business IS and SHOULD BE about people.
Basic Rules Of Small Business Marketing
One of the most basic rules of small business marketing is know your customers. Actually get to KNOW them. Go beyond the bounds of typical market research – age, gender, family size, income, lifestyle – and find out what they need, what else they may want. This gives you instant feedback on your product or service and, most important, tell you if anything needs improving. And ACT on their feedback.
Another small business marketing trick that small business owners either overlook or even reject is being an “unpaid consultant” to the clientele. Sure, being asked for your opinion on something that has nothing to do with your business or, worse, might even have to do with the competition can be a bummer. But here’s the rub. People wouldn’t ask you for advice if they didn’t trust and value your opinion.
As often as you can, show your customers how much you appreciate them. Send them handwritten “Thank You” cards. List birthdays and other important dates of loyal clientele and greet them on those days or mention these in the newsletters you send out. Host special events, like appreciation days, for valued customers. If your customers feel you genuinely like and value them, they’re likely not only to come back again and again but refer you to family and friends, too.
Word of mouth isn’t only the best advertising, it’s free, too! Think up an incentive scheme for customers who do refer you forward.
Here’s another small business marketing trick that is all too often ignored.
Look inwards with your small business marketing.
Just one grouchy salesperson could ruin your business for you. Happy employees mean better business because they are the frontline where good customer service happens. And don’t think your customers won’t notice.
Treat your employees well. Make them feel valued by valuing their work and their ideas. Allow them some leeway to make decisions that will please customers without having to seek clearance all the time. Encourage and reward innovation.
When you get good feedback about your staff from customers, let your employees know about it. And let your other customers know, too. Even throw a party if you can.
A happy employee makes as great a referral as a satisfied customer.
You can spend a fortune on a snazzy advertising campaign and do all the market research and customer surveys you want. But, in the end, Mom and Pop knew it all along. The best small business marketing tricks have to do with keeping people – your clientele and staff – happy. Then THEY are sure to keep YOU happy.
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