Small Business Marketing Tips
Marketing Your Very Small Business
Here at HandBuilt Marketing we work with really small businesses. We are a currently working with a local hair salon, a dog care service, a Pilates teacher and a business trainer to name but a few. A lot of the advice that flies around on blogs and social media is aimed at medium sized to large businesses who enjoy the luxury of a team of staff including a marketing manager.
Most of the businesses we work with are so little that the founder is wearing many hats; managing director, bookkeeper, HR, producer, marketing manager, salesperson, delivery driver and so many more. Thus is it entirely understandable that they don’t feel confident in making their Marketing decisions. Their specialist area revolves around their product, their baby, the reason why they started their brilliant small business.
With this in mind the advice in this blog may appear basic to some, but in fact this is the kind of helping hand we pride ourselves in. There is nothing wrong with not being able to see the wood from the trees. Small business owners feel the pressure to market their business, but where to begin? Here are some of the common questions we are asked:
- Which social media channels shall I use and what should I say?
- Do I need a website and is mine ok?
- How can I use Facebook for my business?
- Should I pay for advertising on yell.com when I can be listed for free?
- Should I advertise in newspapers?
- How do I know if my advertising is working?
- How much should I spend on promoting my business?
- What is a Marketing strategy and do I need one?
- I need a new website and don’t know where to begin!
At HandBuilt we’re here to guide small business owners through these issues and more in an accessible way.
Here are a few pieces of advice from us to point your Marketing efforts in the right direction:
- Social Media – take a look at what kind of business you’re running and which social media channels are best for you. Don’t be tempted to kill yourself updating too many. See our blog on which ones to choose. There is so much more you can do with social media, choosing your channels is just the beginning.
- Website – nearly every kind of business needs a good website these days. It’s a great way to represent what you do and tell your story. Is yours up to date and is it Search Engine Optimised? See our blog on SEO for beginners . If you’re commissioning a new site we highly recommend that you ensure that you can update the content easily yourself. Some developers will charge you for every change you want to make. On great platforms like WordPress it’s as easy as updating a word document.
- Online listings – there are many places to be listed online for FREE these days. Do a google search for your market and see where your competitors are listed. Investigate whether you can be listed there too. com do free business listings.
- Google – register your business with Google for FREE so that your business can appear on Google Maps and in searches. Follow this link https://www.google.com/business/
- Advertising – Make a new rule. Only pay for newspaper or magazine advertising if you can measure the results. By adding a competition, discount code or similar you can track how many people respond to your ad. If the responses are low, don’t advertise again.
- Sales people – advertising sales people will hunt you down. Don’t feel pressured into taking an ad just because they’ve approached you directly. Always ask them to email you the information for you to digest in your own time.
- Marketing Plan – take the time to think through your Marketing plan. It’s worth taking the time to be clear about your business objectives for the year and how you want to achieve those through marketing. Don’t be tempted to deviate once you fixed your plan unless there is a very compelling reason.
- Tell Your Story – if you’re passionate about your product or service, consider writing a blog to tell the world about what you’re doing. Blogs are a great thing to share on your social media and can allow you to share details you’re unable to share on a brief Twitter post. Blogs are known as’content’ and content is king in Marketing at the moment! It’s more believable than a straight sales message to the consumer.
If you’d like some help getting started please give us a shout here at HandBuilt Marketing. We offer lots of services at accessible prices. New websites, social media training, marketing plans and more. A really good place to start is our Marketing Healthcheck, take a look here to learn more about it.
Get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org