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The Top 5 Small Business Marketing Tips for Budget-Minded Business

When it comes to running a successful business, marketing is essential. For a small business, marketing often seems like a daunting task – especially when it comes to marketing your business on the web.

Many times, budget-minded business owners fear that small business marketing needs to be expensive in order to be effective. Fortunately – this isn’t true. Here are five simple tips for small business owners who are looking to save dollars, while still running an effective online marketing campaign.

1. Optimize Your Website

There are three simple steps to take so that you can be sure that your website is working for you.

The first is to use a descriptive title for your site as well as keywords and a description that allows search engines and site visitors alike to know what they will find when they visit your web page. Once that’s taken care of, make sure that you are placing keywords appropriately in the text of your website.

Your keywords should be specific to your products and services, and should be chosen with consideration for the terms prospective customers would use when searching with Google or Yahoo or whichever other search engine they use.

Finally, these keywords should also be used in the alt image tags as they relate to the photos and illustrations that you post to your website.

2. Market Your Website with Articles & Distribute Press Releases

Article marketing is an extremely effective way to draw visitors to your website. By creating an informative short article that relates to your business, your area of expertise and your keywords, you can show readers a bit more of what they’ll find from your business – which you can link to in your resource box at the bottom of the article.

Online press releases are another effective marketing tool. Like conventional press releases that let local newswires pick up a story about a new staff member or a new product line, online press release distribution will allow you to get the word out to those who publish online newsletters or who review products and services like those that you offer.

Both articles and press releases published online create valuable, relevant inbound links to your website (via the link to your site in your resource box at the end of each article or press release). Search engines place a great amount of value on the number of inbound links you have to your site, so this is an excellent way of building popularity with the search engines, as well as your human customers.

Both article marketing and distributing press releases will enable you to establish yourself as an expert and your company as a source for products or services. Each is effective, and often, submission to article directories is free – that’s right, free marketing for your business, all it takes is a little bit of time.

3. Start a Blog

It’s a common statement when it comes to Internet marketing: content is king. A blog – short for a weblog – allows you to create fresh content at regular intervals, driving traffic and search engines to your website.

Like article marketing and press release distribution, having a blog allows you to establish your expertise about the products and services that your small business offers. Unlike article marketing and press release distribution, however, a blog allows you to begin to carry on a dialog with your current and prospective customers.

Your blog works like search engine magic for your website. By linking your blog to your website, you draw the search engines to your website. Your site will rank higher and your customers will have a much easier time finding your site.

4. Commit to a Link Building Campaign and Submit Your Site to Directories and Search Engines

As a small business owner building and promoting your business on the web, having quality inbound links is important. Links allow your site to be found by those who visit similar sites looking for the products and services that your company offers.

Links – like those at the end of your articles and press releases, like those that link back to individual products or services from within your blog, and like those from others who have purchased from you in the past – help to improve your site’s search engine rank.

By submitting your business’ website to relevant directories and even to industry-specific – niche – search engines, you’ll begin to generate additional links. More importantly, however, these niche directories are increasingly used by those looking for very specific sites. Having your listing present will make it even more likely that your prospective customers will find your page; that makes them a particularly valuable marketing tool for your business, and, again, it’s often free to submit your site.

5. Look for Joint Ventures with Other Like-Minded Business People

It’s not uncommon for small businesses to work together – a movie theater and a restaurant offering coupons for a discount if you spend the evening at both places. In my past life working with large corporations I realized that the largest companies grow by means of joint ventures all the time. However, many small businesses do not look into joint ventures when it comes to marketing their businesses.

Is it always easy to find the right joint venture for marketing your business? No, of course not. But it is possible to find like-minded business owners whose customers could benefit from your products or services just as your customers could benefit from those that they offer.

As a result, both small businesses will be better able to extend their outreach and develop a wider customer base. If you are going to enter into a joint venture, search for companies with similar goals and a similar customer base but a different type of product or service. Stay on the lookout, keep an open mind and you just might find the perfect opportunity to market your business to a new audience.

A perfect example of this principle is a recent joint venture I did with a company who specializes in teaching business credit skills to small business owners. This company markets to the same clients that I wish to add to my customer list, but they offer a completely different service. By working together, we were able to market our services to each other’s mailing lists, resulting in both of us attracting new customers we would not have had otherwise. The great part about this joint venture was that there was no out-of-pocket cost to either of us – just our time and a little creativity in coming up with suitable promotions to each other’s lists!

Taking your business to the web does not need to be difficult, nor does it need to be expensive. By taking a creative approach, small business owners on a tight marketing budget will be able to find traffic and increase their customer base.

Focus on reaching the search engines: use the right keywords and use them appropriately. Let people know that you have the information they need with articles and be sure to get the word out by distributing press releases. Interact with your customers with a high quality blog, and focus on getting great links. Lastly, take advantage of partnerships with like-minded business owners.

Marketing your small business website may require a lot of hard work, but it doesn’t require a lot of money – oftentimes, the best results are derived from the most creative (not the most expensive) solutions.

Small Business: Secrets To Success

Being a successful businessperson, as the saying goes, is about “1 percent luck and 99 percent hard work.” Being passionate about your work also helps. This article discusses the secrets to being a successful businessperson and running a flourishing small business.

Objective

Have a clear goal when it comes to your small business. Write down both short-term and long-term goals for your small business. Set a realistic date for the objectives to be achieved. This helps you focus on goals, rather than being tossed about in the competitive business world like a rudderless ship.

Business Plan

No business, big or small, succeeds without a business plan. After you have decided what direction to steer your small business in, you need to plan how to get there. A business plan can go hand-in-hand with an objective date, with both helping you focus on the ultimate goal.

One Step at a Time

Once you have prepared your business plan, put it into action. Work on reaching your goal on a daily basis. Taking small steps at a time will help you get there while also allowing you to monitor your progress.

Take Time Out from Business

Some “me time” is also crucial if you don’t want to burn out early. Take small breaks from business and spend time indulging in a hobby or enjoying the company of family and friends. Learn meditation techniques to keep stress away, and exercise regularly to maintain good physical health.

Pareto’s Principle

Keep Pareto’s Principle in mind to enhance your efforts: 80 percent of the results are due to 20 percent of the causes. Instead of wasting time and resources on many issues, focus on the key aspects of your small business.

Products

The success of your small business depends on the products you sell. Analyze your sales in order to discover which products are bestsellers and which ones are drains on the system. In general, about 30 percent of products bring in the greatest profits.

Customer Relations

Customer relationship management is an integral part of small business management. Identify potential long-term customers and those that will bring you the greatest profits. Focus on building relationships with them in order to enhance your business.

Associates

Build sound relationships with your business associates, including suppliers, vendors, franchisees, and business partners. Maintain regular conversations with all of these people, so you are up-to-date on trends and other changing conditions.

Passion

Passion is the single most important factor in making your small business succeed. If you are passionate about what you do, you will be successful in your small business, since you will be able to put in the requisite work without feeling stressed out and you will see extra work as necessary to achieving your goal.

The factors mentioned above are the secrets of success for many small businesses. With passion, dedication, foresight, sound planning and relationship maintenance, you can make your small business a winner in a very short time. If you think you need help in turning your small business into a success, you can hire the services of a professional small business advisor. Alternatively, you can use software for helping you run small businesses.

7 Steps to Creating a Successful Small Business Marketing Plan

Small business marketing is all about determining the needs of your target market and then providing solutions to meet those needs.

These 7 steps are aimed at entrepreneurs starting a small business and those who want to create a successful small business marketing plan for an existing business.
Most small business promotions focus on how great their products and services are. Instead, you should educate your target market consistently and start building a relationship that will establish your credibility and trust. It is important to develop a marketing mindset. “Think Marketing” your products and services all of the time. It is very important to consistently market your products and services. Don’t fall into the trap of stop and go marketing. Some small business owners only market when sales are down.

You can’t have a successful small business without having a successful small business marketing plan. Effective small business marketing is the way to growth and profits

If you’re a small business owner or you want to know how to start a small business in the future, this simple 7-step plan will help you understand your business and your target market.

How to Start a Small Business Marketing Plan: 7 Steps
Begin the process by answering these questions:

1) Who — Who specifically is your target market? Who is your ideal client? What research can you do to find out more about your target market?

2) What — What products and services do your ideal clients want and need? What does your product and service do for your ideal client? What problems does your product solve for your customer? What are the solutions that your ideal client is looking for? What is your area of specialty that will differentiate you in the marketplace? What are the industry trends? What type of message will your ideal client likely respond to? What are you ultimately selling? For example: Are you selling eye glasses or are you selling vision? What is your unique mix of products and services? What is your pricing strategy?

3) Where — Where is your ideal client? Where is your customer located geographically? Where will you position yourself so they can easily find you? Where are the best places to get your marketing message to them? Will you speak to groups, hold seminars, or write a blog, newsletters or articles?
4) When — How frequently does your target market need to hear your marketing message? When are they most likely to buy your products and services?

5) Why — Why are you in business? Why do customers or clients buy from you? Why should they choose your product or service over your competition?

6) How — How does your customer buy your product or service? How are you going to reach potential buyers for your services and products? How will you communicate your marketing message? How will you provide customers or clients with the information they need to make their buying decision?

7) Marketing Mindset – Practice mastering a Marketing Mindset and you will be on the path to a profitable small business.

With these 7 steps, you can take action towards starting a small business marketing plan that targets new customers. “Marketing is about testing and evaluating your return on investment. But it’s primarily about helping people get what they want.” Master these small business marketing steps and you will be on the path to more profit and success as a business owner.