Small businesses often have many advantages over Fortune 500 companies. Smaller companies may have a greater ability to be more flexible and change with the times than their larger competitors. Capitalizing upon these factors can often improve sales and create a more effective marketing solution. Are you fully utilizing your business assets in your sales and marketing strategy? These inexpensive and proven methods can help propel your company to success:
- Networking is an extremely effective way to generate business, and there are simple ways to do it well. For peers or customers, samples such as a portfolio, references, or résumé are tangible testaments to the quality of products or services you provide. Be sure to leave materials with potential clients to remind them of your business after you’ve gone.
- Make an Alliance. “Beef. It’s what’s for dinner” is an excellent example of an ad campaign that conveys nutrition and Americana, while helping to promote farmers, distributors, packagers, etc. Consider making alliances with companies that complement yours to share advertising, promotional, and market research expenses.
- Establishing your business presence on the Internet is becoming increasingly important, as consumers grow more web-savvy. Your site can reach those searching for your services and provide additional information for existing customers.
- Trade shows and conferences are great ways to advertise your business. You’ll have a captive audience, and you’ll get to see what some of the competition is doing.
- Consider volunteering your time and services to community and industry-related events. If you want to introduce yourself, compose media kits with your photograph, company bio, service goals, and credentials, and mail them to the appropriate parties. Follow up by phone, and if that doesn’t work, consider organizing your own events.
- Direct mail can be one of the most economical forms of advertising when used appropriately. If you’re in a business with a specific target market and you have or can obtain customer mailing lists, your total expense for a direct mail project can be quite reasonable.
All businesses are unique and strategies will work differently for each company. Maximize the same creativity that led you to start your business in the first place and use it to promote your product. There are many ways to reach potential customers, and with a little brainstorming, you will find several solutions that are productive, easy, and inexpensive.