To be successful in business, a good product or service alone is not enough. You need to be able to get your message out to the public, so that it is your business that they turn to first. Huge multinational corporations spend fortunes on celebrity endorsements and television advertising campaigns. As a small business, it is unlikely that you have the kind of budget required for this kind of approach. Fortunately there are plenty other ways to get your business noticed without breaking the bank. From using social media to distributing promotional bags, we look at some of the best.
Your company logo is a very important tool for marketing your business, so you need to get it right. The key to a successful logo is to keep it simple, make it unique and to use it widely and consistently. Don’t try to cram too much information into it; you just want to create an image that immediately resonates with your customers. Think about the logos of some of the most successful companies. Most are one colour, or two at most, and extremely simple. Follow this principle and your logo will help drive your business forward.
Customers these days expect to be able to check out a business online before they commit to giving it their custom, so you need to make sure that you have an effective website. People are ruthless when browsing online — they will move on to a different site at the mere hint of inconvenience — so you have to make a good impression. That means a website that is not only visually appealing but also functional. If a potential customer can’t find their way around your site or has to wait while lots of complicated graphics load they will soon lose interest. The key therefore is to keep it simple.
3. Social media
Social media have revolutionised the marketing world in recent years. Increasingly we are seeing major companies eschewing traditional outlets such as television in favour of campaigns on sites such as youtube and facebook. This is great news for the small business owner as the low cost of these alternatives means that anyone can compete. The only barrier to entry is creativity and familiarity with social media, so if you are not already confident in this environment, it is time to get up to speed.
Everybody loves a freebee, so if you want to get your name and logo out into the public consciousness all you need to do is offer a little incentive. Small items such as pens and stubby coolers are inexpensive to produce and ensure that your logo will get repeated exposure over a long time. Environmentally friendly green bags that can be printed with your business name and logo are a particularly good option. People use them when they are out in public, increasing the number of potential customers who will be exposed to your business. Moreover, they help to position your company as a caring and responsible organisation.
No matter what else you do to market your business, networking will always be important. Always carry business cards and look out for any opportunity to promote your company. This doesn’t mean turning every social situation into a business meeting, but it does mean being attentive and noticing when someone might be receptive to what you can offer.