With the rise of cottage industry domestically and the world over, small business is taking the spotlight as the 21st century gets going in full swing. Rightfully disturbed by corporate malpractice and nervous about globalization, many lone wolf entrepreneurs and promising startups are coming to grips with the true value of operating a small company in today’s unsteady economic environment.
Cash Flow Reigns Supreme
Let’s start with the obvious: you need revenue to run a business. While your company may already be established and turning a profit, you may also be just starting out without any existing pipeline or even any products or services to offer. No one will want to do business with you if they don’t know your company exists, so the first step for entrepreneurs who want to get the edge in their industry is to find out which small business marketing methods are the most effective.
What are your competitors doing to gain and maintain their customer base? By doing a little snooping, you can often find some golden tips for your own business. Growth is an everyday struggle, and borrowing a little intel on marketing methods from someone you’re bound to overshadow someday can’t be wrong, can it?
Word of Mouth
Since time immemorial, human beings have loved to gossip. From the neighbor-lady’s new Chihuahua to the latest ice cream joint downtown, people love getting together and talking about what’s important to them. If you have just one customer who loves your products or services (hint: You!) then that’s all you need to get a foot into the door of your customer base’s ongoing conversations.
Over time, word of mouth can have an exponential impact on netting new customers and can be one of the most effective small business marketing methods. It’s understandable if this organic process seems like it’s taking too long in the beginning stages, so thankfully there’s another common recourse that small business owners rely on to get the word out.
Social media is just the internet’s version of the proverbial grapevine. Find some followers for your company page, post some good content, and in no time those followers will be multiplying in number and converting into customers. Some social media clients such as Facebook and Twitter also offer additional paid marketing options, which is how most social media platforms make the majority of their revenue.
Also falling under the heading of social media marketing is any work you do on your company blog. Blogs can be a great place to post original material or compile content on trending subjects, a tactic called content curation. Both methods will lead to increased brand exposure, meaning more sales.
Last tip: list yourself on Google Maps. Having an active listing replete with your business address, phone number and relevant photos is a great way to share some basic information on your company that pops up first thing in a Google search.
Do What’s Right For You
Nobody starts a business with the intention to fail, but because human beings are hardwired to imitate each other, the behavior of many entrepreneurs and small business owners often exhibits tell-tale signs of lemming behavior. Remember that owning an independent business is all about freedom, which can sometimes mean the freedom to pave your own way.
Marketing is all about how you represent your company to others, and a company’s marketing strategy can be everything an investor needs to see in order to know whether your business will still be around in five years. For startup gurus looking to make a lasting impact, determining which marketing methods work best for you can truly make all the difference.