For every small business, there will always be costs to be paid out. The trick is to receive more business than having to pay bills. Whether you are a small start-up company or a retail store, these tips you can do right now. Marketing and advertising doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money. With a little planning and some time, you can achieve the results you want. Try all of these tips once and track the progress. If it works, great! Do it again. If it doesn’t, note why you think it didn’t and how you would do it over again.
Tip#1 Know your customer! A pet peeve of mine is when an entrepreneur will tell me that EVERYONE is their customer. Although it is true that we can take business from anyone, there will be a group of people that will be your primary customer. This is the “type” of customer that buys from you regularly. They say 80% of your business will come from 20% of your customers. Get to know your customers very well. Learn about their buying habits, their education, and lifestyle.
Tip#2 Following the previous tip, create a customer management system. This means a database where you place all your customers information including birthdays, anniversaries, spouse’s name and number (for gifts), and any other information that you can use to personalize the experience for your customer. These types of small gestures will bring a lot of business over time and a loyal clientele base.
Tip#3 Hire a student. College and University students are looking for experience in their field. You can hire them for an hourly basis or per contract. For example, I had a business mentor that didn’t have time to punch in her receipts into her excel so she hired an accountant student to simply punch in her numbers. The student gets extra money and the business owner has more time to do what they love to do.
Tip#4 Do not go with a very elaborate website. Start with something small and simple then work your way up when your business grows.
Tip#5 Try a joint venture. During your travels as an entrepreneur you’ll find some great people in the same industry but are not your competition.(For example; a makeup artist and hairdresser) These two professions are not in competition but they do cater to same market. You can join together on marketing (IE one business gets one side of a postcard, and the other has the opposite. Together you can split the cost of printing and get your business out there twice as fast)
Tip#6 Know your competition. Do a SWOT analysis of your greatest competition. “S” stands for strengths. What does your competition do better than you? “W” stands for weakness. What does your competition lack? “O” stands for opportunity. How can you improve your business from your strengths and weaknesses? “T” stands for threats. Where can your competition really hurt your business?
Tip#7 Barter goods. When you make great connections with other businesses, you can sometimes barter for goods. This means providing a service for a service instead of using money. You may give a service of printing business cards to get your car detailed for instance. This is a win-win relationship.
Tip#8 Track your invoices, receipts, and bill payments. When you have a handle of your finances, you are able to see where you are making the most money and how. Keep a journal and calendar on when bills need to get paid and when invoices are being charged.
Tip #9 Conduct surveys regularly. The best way to improve your business is to find out directly from your customers. Give coupons or discounts to your customers for participating in the survey.
Tip #10 Give out useful information for free. Your brain is full of so much expertise. Create opportunities to showcase your talents. You can hold free webinars. Volunteer to speak at different engagements. Write articles for different newspapers.
These ten tips will increase your bottom line immediately and save you money. Not every business owner has thousands of dollars to hire an advertising agency. Become an expert in your own marketing.
For more information contact Jemi Echevarria, marketing campaign manager at
(647)785-5851 or firstname.lastname@example.org