How to market a new business?
The person who said “If you build it, they will come” wasn’t giving you all the facts. Because if no one knows you’ve built “it” you’ll be in for a very long wait. To prosper in the modern business arena, market you must. And, market like there is no tomorrow, especially a new business.
On the flip side, marketing done the wrong way can be a waste of your valuable time and money. And it is vital to remember that most advertising and marketing firms have a standard set of services they offer, to you and your competitors.
If your business and its eight chief rivals are all using the same marketing strategy, how can anyone of you expect to rise above the rest? And it’s always wise to be aware of this before you hand over even $1 to any marketing company that claims they can advertise your business.
Any money that you give to a marketing firm should return that amount with some additional profits, if it doesn’t, it’s a poor investment and should be abandoned immediately.
And speaking from experience, not many marketing companies guarantee or produce these results, so it’s well worth your time to find one that does.
The following tips will help you market your new business to get you the results you want.
Create a marketing plan
How do you create a marketing plan for a new business?
What is the tactical marketing plan that you have for your business? Every business needs a marketing plan that will work now when everything is good, and later when things are going bad. And by things, I don’t mean your business — I’m referring to the economy, and when customers aren’t spending as much as they used to.
One of the secrets I can offer you regarding marketing during bad times is that you should still market your business the same way when the economy is good. Sure, you may have to lower the price for a few products, but it’s nothing that dramatic as to totally abandon ship on your business.
If you want to learn how to make more money now in your business, the fastest way you should do it is to start selling more items to your existing customers and clients. You see, this group of people has already done business with you, and they know you and like you. So it should come as no surprise to them that you are contacting them every month — they want to hear from you, especially if you have a good product.
Your group of customers is a profit zone for you. 80% of your business profits will come from sales on the backend, so keep this in mind. The backend simply means that you are selling more of your products to the people who have already done business with you, i.e., your customers, so don’t neglect them. Here’s another part of your marketing plan that you should consider.
Free marketing techniques
There are many ways that you can get free publicity for yourself and your business offline. One way to do it is by using joint ventures to acquire new sales for free. In a joint venture partnership, you team up with a business in your area that sells similar items that you do to a very similar target market. Of course, you never want to offer a joint venture with a rival in your area. This just doesn’t make sense to do it.
How to strike up deals with joint venture partners is a topic in and of itself, but one of the best places to start looking is via your local chamber of commerce. They will contain a wide variety of business members that you can do business with, and there will be some business owners there who target the same market that you do. This is a great chance to gain a new colleague and start lucrative deals that can run for years.
Now we can’t forget the use of the internet to market for free. There are so many things that you can do to get your name out there online, so I suggest that you start hopping on the bandwagon today. If you’re not marketing online, you’re missing out on a huge piece of landscape that could be potentially yours.
Your business card
While business cards might seem slightly outdated, an impressive one will still achieve the same result that it always has, and that result is highlighting to any potential clients how professional and exclusive your company is.
But this doesn’t mean that any business card will do. Do you want to create the right impression? Focus on a great design. Yes, that means you should hire a great designer, but it’s worth it. Once you have a business card design you can use the same design for a while, so you are looking at a long-term investment.
If you are very good at design, you could also try it yourself, but I don’t recommend it. Your job is to build your business and not to become a jack of all trades. Experiment with business cards that stand out. The best ones are those that are shaped a bit differently. Try a larger than normal size business card. It will stick out from the rest. It might be a good conversation starter. You must do whatever it takes to get the conversation started about your business. If your business card looks like all the others, your business is like all the others.
Avoid the following mistakes if you want a great business card:
- Make it clear what you do. If someone would read your card without you being there to explain what you do, would your card tell the story?
- Make sure your card style aligns with your target audience.
- Avoid gimmicks.
- Do not create a business card that is the same shape and size of every other business card out there. Your goal is to stand out, start with your business card.
- Include all of your contact information. At least have your email, phone, and social media accounts on there.
- Don’t use a font size that would make the text hard to read.
- Use an easy-to-read font.
Your company name
Who cares about your company more than you? Exactly, if there is any one task that you want to take seriously is naming your business. The name of your business will have a long-term impact on your business. And, yes the name of your business can make or break your business. Consider it a mission-critical part of your marketing strategy.
Think of names like Starbucks, Coca-Cola, Google, Ben & Jerry’s, IBM and BMW. They are all short, catchy and by providing an excellent service, they evoke in us positive feelings of fulfillment and reliability. And you can think of something just as good, that’ll evoke the same feelings in your clients.
Great company names have the following characteristics:
- Keep it short.
- Make it memorable.
- Use easy to spell words.
- The best names are unique.
- They are legally protectable, think trademark.
- They roll off the tongue, think Coca-Cola or PayPal.
- They are evergreen. They remain cool for decades.
Letterhead & printed envelopes
This is especially important in B2B and luxury businesses. Having personalized and printed envelops are a nice touch for any new business, and here’s a handy tip . . . Invest in a printed letterhead. Most companies no longer invest in things like that, so it is an easy way to differentiate your business from the rest. To send an email is easy, but to send a great looking letter printed on your letterhead communicates the right message about your business.
Your company’s website
Don’t waste your time with a do-it-yourself website. People can tell when a website is built by an amateur. It creates the wrong impression about your business.
A professional, clean-looking website that focuses more on your customers’ needs (instead of your own) does take longer to set up than a few basic pages, but, it will be more than worth your while in the long run.
And a quick scan through some of your pages is all it takes for most people to decide whether to do business with you or not, you have the power to ensure what they see is concise, professional and higher quality content rather than run of the mill sleep-inducing rubbish . . . What would you rather read?
A professional email address
Whenever possible your company’s email address must be [email protected], opposingly, using unprofessional sounding Hotmail or Gmail account names will show your business in completely the wrong light. Those types of emails are great for personal use, but avoid them for business use.
Apart from these five helpful marketing tactics for new businesses, it’s also important to remember not to spend anything on your marketing until you identify the exact section of the market you are aiming for, and, which is the best strategy to follow.
Also, reading and considering these questions will keep your mind and company headed straight towards success.
- Why will potential clients choose to do business with me over my competitors? What makes your business a better alternative than your competitors? What can you do better, faster, or cheaper than your competition?
- Is there a pool of customers who value my unique selling point, and will spending marketing money on them produce a profitable return? How many potential customers are there? How much will it cost to get a new customer?
- What style of marketing message is best suited to my potential customers? Do you have a B2B or B2C focus?
Answering these questions as clearly as possible will help you to implement a marketing plan which brings profitable results to your thriving company.
How to get customers for your new business?
Marketing a new business is a tough job for anyone. You have to keep with the ads you’re running, how much money they’re making you, selling to backend customers, and ensuring that your advertising is making money for you. With all that said, though, I think it’s still viable that you can make money in your business offline via advertising.
Now, if you follow the premise that “if you build it, they will come,” you’re severely limiting the number of new customers that you can bring into your business. Now even though about 70% of all business traffic is due to your location alone, you can still benefit from direct response advertising.
What is direct response advertising? It’s a form of marketing that focuses on response first, and then maybe brand advertising down the line. I’m not a fan of brand advertising because it takes so long to get your message conveyed to the marketplace. Nobody knows who you are. All prospects care about is what you can do for them. So going around touting your business name is just not getting it done.
The reason so many offline business owners fail is that they think that people will know who they are, and prospects will just flock towards them. But it doesn’t work this way. Business owners like this focus on the appearance and image of their ads and business… instead of focusing on getting customers through the doors.
Don’t be this business owner. There are all kinds of ways to get new customers into your place of business. One such option is direct mail. Even though the cost of direct mail is rising, you can still use it effectively. One option that you have when it comes to direct mail is that you can mail out postcards.
I like postcards because they’re cheap, personal, and work well towards getting your message across to people. I’m willing to bet that a postcard can do the job of getting your prospects to buy, better than a letter in an envelope can. So postcards do work, and I suggest that you start doing them today to market your business.
No matter what marketing technique you employ, make sure you have your prospects’ best interests at heart. Make them feel special and continue to follow up on them monthly. This is a great way to build a relationship with a customer and to get them to remember your name.
Email them once a month with helpful articles and tips that can truly enhance their life. In the same direct mail piece as your article, include a sales letter that describes your new product or service. Of course, some will buy and some won’t, but if your price is good, you’ll stand to earn a nice profit from your mailings.
Keep these tips in mind when marketing your products and services. You never know when a non-interested prospect will turn into a buyer, so keep them in your marketing loop and continue to contact them each month.
photo credit: Curtis Cleaners and Laundry January 25, 20113
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