Marketing Your New Business
You may sell the best product or service in your market, but if no one knows about your business, you cannot be successful. In other words, along with providing a quality product or service, you must be able to market your business successfully. A marketing plan can be just as crucial as a business plan for a small business. Fortunately, many steps that you take to improve your business are components of marketing. But the goal is to take these steps and others into consideration when developing a cohesive marketing plan that will improve your business profits.
What Is Marketing?
Marketing can be broadly defined as providing customers with what they want at a price that is profitable to the business. Marketing requires techniques that alert the public to your business’s benefits, but it also requires listening to the response your business receives from customers, vendors and other players in your market.
Many people may think of advertising when they think of marketing, but marketing activities include product design and development, targeting your market, pricing and payment information, press relations, customer service, networking, community outreach, sales and market education. Marketing can touch different departments of a business, which can make it a challenge for small businesses. But developing a marketing plan is key for small business success, and many small and large steps can go into that plan.
What Are the Key Components of a Marketing Plan?
A marketing plan is a part of a business plan, so creating the marketing plan puts you one step closer to a completed business plan. A marketing plan for a new business should do the following:
- Define your business
- Define your target market
- Define your plans and resources
Focusing on these three definitions will permit you to review again the potential for your business. You will need to analyze product and service offerings, pricing, market research and promotion methods. As your business becomes established, your new marketing plans may reflect customer complaints and comments, sales incentives for valued employees, and customer payment plans, as well as other marketing ideas that you feel are valuable.
Cost-Effective Marketing Ideas
While you may feel strapped for the extra financial resources to pour into a marketing campaign, marketing is especially important for new businesses. Cost-effective marketing can become a building block to greater financial success. In fact, basic facets of your business can affect your marketing needs. Consider location. High-traffic, high-volume areas will require a smaller marketing budget simply because the business will be highly visible at its location. Second, consider signage. An attractive sign for your business is one of the most cost-effective investments you can make in you business.
Your presence as a business owner can also serve as effective marketing. Create a pin or tag that you wear at business events and networking opportunities you attend. Present yourself and your business professionally wherever you go and to whomever you meet. Carry and hand out business cards to the contacts you make. Give your business contacts extra business cards so that they can network for you. Finally, consider spending dedicated marketing funds wisely by consulting with a marketing professional to maximize the marketing efforts you do make.
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