Congratulations! You have opened up your own business and are working in your dream job, something that excites you and fulfills you. Now, you have to get people walking through your door. This is where marketing and it’s essential planning comes in. If either yourself or a hired professional do things right, you will see incredible increases to your cash income and a slew of customers. But, it is a delicate balancing act and the wrong move can cost you more money in the end. Therefore, how should you as a startup business handle the aspects of your marketing?
When you first start publicizing your new business, focus on the aspects that make you different from your competitors. This not only includes cost and quality, but also the customer service you’ll provide and business knowledge you bring with you. How are you planning to make your customer’s lives better? Sell the benefit of doing business with you.
Next, promote and practice listening to your customers. Remember, “The customer is always right.” Even when they seem not to be so. Customers are your lifeblood and therefore, you need to be in-tuned to their needs and wishes and adjust accordingly. If you don’t fulfill an overall need, your customers will look elsewhere for it.
Think about pre-promotion. Let’s say that you have a business that is a month or two away from officially opening to the public. This is the time to start preemptive awareness campaigning, even if it’s minimal, to let potential customers know your business is coming. You can sell the benefit before your product has arrived. When opening day arrives, you have customers ready to buy.
You have heard the saying before to “Think outside the box.” Let your creative juices flow and use inventive and attention-grabbing messages and designs to make you stand on the shoulders of your competition. If feasible, run multiple types of marketing campaigns on different platforms of social media and possibly use blog influencers. That way you can compare what works and what doesn’t.
Whether you have a website, business social media page, or both, give your customers a way to voice their opinions of your business either good or bad. See this as a barometer of how your business is being perceived and if you need to start making some changes. Not giving your customers a forum for discussion can alienate them and show that their opinion does not matter to you. Even a tremendously negative comment can be turned into a positive thing if you are proactive and publicly show you are willing to address and correct the problem.
Finally, as a startup business get into the practice early of rewarding customers for their interest or loyalty if you have been around awhile. Discounts, gifts, etc. make customers feel appreciated and special. This in turn makes them your best advocates for your business to others who may not know about you.
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