If you’re in business, you’re no doubt constantly wondering what you could or should be doing to grow it, right?!
Well, this article might just be able to refresh for you what you most likely already know on a subconscious level.
Marketing as a whole is a very complex subject, with many different elements that make up the profession. It involves no small amount of an understanding of consumer behaviour and psychology, and the depths of statistical analysis and research to pursue are almost endless.
You can definitely consider it a science in itself, and it’s no surprise at all that large corporations have entire teams looking after this aspect of their business.
For small business owners, though, sometimes (and I say this because this happens to me as well), we just love to over-complicate things for ourselves in our own minds. The basic process for our own business’ marketing however, can actually be quite a simple one, and there are steps you can take right now to become more systematic about your marketing strategy and the resulting business growth.
It does take time, effort and a fair bit of contemplation to get through, and you’d be doing yourself and your business a disservice by rushing the process, but at the root of the complexity of marketing are some basic steps that you can apply today.
Ask yourself the following questions and answer them in as much detail as you can, and you will be well on your way to understanding how best to market, and subsequently, grow, your business.
1.) What are my products or services?
You need to fully understand what it is that your business is selling. If you don’t, how are you meant to tell your customers about what you do? If you’re not clear on what your actual offer is, your customers definitely won’t be, either. So get specific clarity on what you offer, and it will enable your prospects to make the right decision for themselves, and not to mention the fact that they will be able to refer you, as well!
Also ask yourself, what it is that you actually want to achieve? And by when? Is it a financial goal? How much more of your product or service would you need to sell in order to achieve it? If you have a range of products or services, which ones will get you there in the shortest amount of time?
Based on this, ask yourself…
2.) Who is it that I’m selling to?
This question should definitely not be over-looked, because it is absolutely crucial for you to know exactly who your target market is. Contemplate aspects such as location, gender, age, marital status, occupation, income level etc. – even give them a NAME to fully help yourself to visualise the person you’re talking to, who is the ideal person to use your products or services.
Once you’ve established who you’re actually talking to, move on to the next question.
3.) How do I reach my target market?
This is where you get to get creative! Think about the person you’ve just described, and ask yourself where and how you could reach that person. Would and online approach work well to find them, or would more traditional, offline methods work better? Or a combination of both? Social media advertising or flyers? Banner ads or radio? Or a mix of all of the above?
Brainstorm and write all your ideas down without judgement, then eliminate the less practical ones.
Once you’ve decided on the marketing elements that will work best for your target market, you will be well-equipped to create a plan of action to grow your business. With your goal in mind (refer back to Question 1), map out your next month, with actionable steps each week to keep yourself on track.
Remember: even imperfect action is better than no action!
Through all of this, however, here are a couple of extra points to consider:
- Understand exactly what it is that YOU stand for, and make sure you convey that in your
- That being said, it is even more important that you understand what your client needs and
wants. What keeps THEM up at night?
- Be genuine in your approach – clients usually have a very well-established BS-Detector
and will sense a lack of authenticity from a mile away.
- Approach your marketing from a service point of view, and add real value for your clients. If
you’re only “in it for the money” and don’t really care – they will know, in no uncertain
In a nutshell, showing that you understand and genuinely care for your clients will go a long way in establishing an ongoing professional relationship with them, based on a foundation of trust. And if a client truly trusts you, do you think they’ll end up referring you to their family and friends? My personal guess would be: Just Maybe! ;-)
And that is how us small business owners grow.