As a small business owner, you know you have limited time to market your business.
It can be tempting just to get started on the ‘doing’ part of marketing your small business- and tick ‘marketing’ off the list.
We are also a small business; we understand the pressures you face. You know how important marketing is and you just want to get on with getting your message out there.
Indeed, simply because you have limited time and resources, the worst thing you can do is waste them.
It is even more important for you than for a larger business that promotions provide an excellent return on investment and are part of an interconnected process.
At the end of this blog, we have made a short, six-point list of the things you should think about in more detail before you begin any marketing work. Please have a read of it before you go.
However, because it is easier to remember stories of success than list of tips, we thought we would show you how it is done with the story of small business marketing we admire.
Kemi Telford is an independent retailer. Here at Edmonds Marketing, we follow her label on Instagram.
The owner of this small business has ridden a wave of customer support for transparent, independent labels by doing all the right things with her small business marketing.
1. Knowing the business’ points of difference clearly.
Kemi Telford creates sustainable ‘investment piece’ fashion from long lasting materials, high-quality craftmanship and bold designs. It uses thick cotton fabrics and hand-dyed prints made by female artisans in Nigeria.
2. Having a clear direction.
Kemi makes the perfect ‘wear-everywhere’ dress-and in fact creates items that are perfect for working from home, helping her succeed in lockdown. The designs are simple but the prints and the colourways help them to stand out. The brand does not deviate from this focus on simple, stand out clothes.
3. Having a clear marketing plan.
Kemi Telford made the decision to use Instagram as its main marketing tool and has remained entirely focused on this channel.
4. Managing its brand.
Kemi Telford, the woman behind the business, is literally the face of the business. She models most of the clothes she markets and accessorises her pieces like a professional. She also speaks openly and frankly to her customers through the main communication channel – Instagram – and only markets what she would wear herself.
5. Nurtures its loyal customers.
Kemi randomly calls her customers to speak to them as she loves their feedback. She also showcases their style on their Instagram grid too and in fact the fans of her brand have made friends with each other, even meeting offline and creating a body of brand advocates.
6. Understanding its customers.
Kemi knows her audience and understands what they want from their statement pieces and how much they are prepared to spend to get a special item that helps them stand out. She helps them feel good about the manufacturing process by making it completely transparent.
Our Six Point Small Business Marketing Plan (to be like Kemi)
The thinking you need to do upfront involves considering these six points and mapping out a clear plan with actions you can stick to on a regular basis.
1. Undertake market research
The right market research can give you extremely valuable insights into your customers’ thinking, buying patterns and locations. The results will focus all your efforts.
2. Manage your brand
Your brand represents your business reputation and your name. Protecting it is key to sustaining and growing your business for the longer term.
3. Identify your value proposition.
Successful small businesses take the time to understand their customers’ needs and use that information to establish a brand with a clear and compelling point of difference. Having an easy-to-understand point of difference will help you cut through the competition.
4. Set a clear plan.
Without a clear plan you are likely to be reactive to opportunities instead of allocating your resources wisely. You may miss opportunities and you may also waste money.
5. Have clear, well defined marketing goals and direction.
It may seem obvious but having clear, well-defined goals will really help you achieve your objectives. Again, your aim should not be to do everything possible to market your business but to do the things that will most help you market your business. With limited time, put your energy where it really counts.
6. Nurture loyal customers
This is something that many small businesses forget to do as they forge their way forward, trying to grow their customer base.
But loyal customers are the key to your success so it is vital to focus on looking after them and encouraging their loyalty and word of mouth.
There are lots of ways to do this and, in this case, it is usually valuable to do them all.
- Communicating regularly with customers
- Providing after-sale follow up
- Delivering on your promises
- Going the extra mile and providing benefits that exceed expectations
- Using feedback and complaints as an opportunity to improve services
- Listening to customers
- Training staff in customer service and basic sales processes.
So, what thinking will you do this month to support your small business marketing? What will you prioritise? How will you bring your thoughts together into a clear plan of action that you can manage on a daily and weekly basis, without getting side-tracked by running the business?
As always, if you would like to discuss your small business marketing needs with us, contact Damien on 0447 147 788, email@example.com.
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As a small business owner, you know you have limited time to market your business.It can be tempting just to get started on the ‘doing’ part of marketing your small business- and tick ‘marketing’ off the list.We are also a small business; we understand the pressures you face.”
As always, if you would like to discuss your website design or marketing strategy needs with us, contact either:
Access our other blogs on website design and related marketing strategy consultancy topics via this link.