The importance of spreading the word about your product or service can be the difference between success and failure. As a home-based or small business owner, you will wear many hats. This will include worker, manager, janitor, receptionist, order taker and a host of other duties. Sometimes, we can get so caught up in being the worker for our business that we forget we also have to be the visionary and the ambassador – the role that gives the business guidance and ensures its longevity.
Consistent marketing and promotion not only helps in branding your business, but it can also help with the following:
- Keeping current clients/customers informed of new products/services.
- Bringing in a stream of new clients, which is vital for business growth.
- Encourages and motivates you to keep up with trends in your industry.
- Creates a vision for your business. This is especially helpful if you do not have a storefront or retail business where people are exposed to it daily.
- Adds professionalism and sets a standard for your business.
Commitment to your marketing efforts is key. A minimum of two hours daily should be given to marketing. This can include: calling current customers and updating them on product specials or new services; creating brochures or flyers to mail out to potential customers; participating in community events or finding new avenues of advertising.
Below are 8 Ways that you can market and promote your business:
1. Press Release. When you launch a new business, product or service or you are involved in a newsworthy event, write a press release and send it to publications that your clients/customers read.
2. Become a Volunteer! Volunteer a limited amount of your products or services to a worthy cause. For example, if you own a graphic design company, you might design a conference brochure or guide for the American Cancer Society or a local women’s hospital. This not only gives you a great client reference, but it gets your work in front of potential clients.
3. Create An Advisory Team. Create an Advisory Team of individuals in various professions. Include benefits: organize a bi-monthly or monthly luncheon, offer discounted services/products etc.
4. Web Site. Your web site is a great way to promote your products and services. There are many services on the Internet that offer low-cost sites as little as $7.95 monthly or free sites (plug in “free web sites” on your search engine and review which has the best offer and quality).
5. Newsletter. Create a one-page newsletter and send out monthly via email or US mail. Include service/product updates, informative articles that can be put to good use.
6. Open House. Have a quarterly open house or social where you display your products or provide an enlightening seminar on your services. Offer refreshments, samples or discount coupons and allow your clients to mingle. Also allow your clients/customers to introduce themselves and share information if they would like to.
7. Advertise. Based on the type of business you have, advertising with your local community paper or cable channel can be cost-effective. Call and ask for an advertisement kit or rates. Information should include: publication distribution including areas, number of readers or viewers broken down into categories etc. ** Never provide a dollar amount for your marketing budget over the phone. Review information and let them know that you’ll get back with them.
8. Joint Projects. Establish working relationships with other businesses where your services or products compliment one-another. Develop ways you will work together. This can include: providing cross-referrals to one another, doing presentations together and sharing ad space etc.