This is the second in a series of articles about Small Business Marketing Strategies. In Part 1, we discussed how small business is changing due to increased competition, the rise of social media, and the recession. Smart marketing strategies are simply no longer optional. In a economic downturn, we must market even more, but do it wisely. We have to tune up what we know and then learn new strategies, too. The goal is to gain new customers, win back former customers, and have our faithful customers and clients buy even more from us.
In short, it’s time to turn up the heat, not slack off because of a perceived scarcity. Look around at your competition and decide to be savvier, to be wiser, smarter, and literally out-fox them all. I have been a consultant to small businesses for many years and have helped to streamline most systems involved in the operations of a small business – from telephone and internet infrastructure to employee training. As important as those things are, nothing has had a greater positive impact than helping a business owner learn to market his business.
Systems Are Your Friends
One of the goals of any business owner ought to be to have systems in place. It’s one thing to do something and have it be successful, and it’s entirely something different when you have successful “systems” in place – systems that run on auto-pilot. Systems may seem boring and robotic, but they’re anything but. You actually use systems every day but don’t recognize them for what they are. If we can just get you to do a “brain drain” and realize the systems you already have in place, and then document them, they begin to help you leverage your time and your energy. I can almost guarantee you that your competitors are not doing what I am going to teach you in terms of leveraging your systems.
Four Success Strategies
Every marketing strategy you put into place will ultimately accomplish growth in one of these four areas:
1. Find new prospects and attract new clients
2. Increase the dollar amount of your current sales
3. Increase the frequency that your customers buy from you
4. Turn your customers into loyal, lifetime friends
Let’s look at these point by point and begin to break them down. First, finding new clients is more than working from referrals. Most business owners become complacent with just working referrals and what I call “picking low-hanging fruit.” Don’t get me wrong – that low-hanging fruit is awesome and you certainly don’t want to ever ignore it, but just remember there’s a whole marketplace of customers out there just waiting to be found. In subsequent articles, we will explore this in much greater detail.
Secondly, to increase the dollar amount of each sale, you have to learn to up-sell. And if you don’t have systems in place to offer extras and high-quality products and add-ons as a choice, that will be part of your smart marketing strategy.
Number three – increasing frequency of buying, is all about communications and follow up. Once you put systems in place, you’ll watch your sales skyrocket.
To accomplish the last item on the list – making loyal customers stick around for life, you must learn how to deliver stellar customer service. This will include soliciting testimonials from your customers (they like to do this!) and also performing satisfaction surveys once in awhile.
All of these four items will eventually be automated with proper systems. As I told you before, you’re going to learn to love your systems – they’ll become your best friends.
Stay tuned for Part 3 of our series on Smart Marketing Strategies. Thank you for reading.
I invite you to visit my blog where I write regularly on Tips for Life and Business. http://www.jeannekolenda.com