As the owner of a small, local business, it’s likely you spend most of the time involved in the nitty-gritty details of running and operating your business. You know that marketing is important and have taken the time to create some marketing plans, but that’s where it ends because it’s just not possible to accomplish everything. Unfortunately, great plans and ideas don’t amount to much unless they’re implemented. If you find yourself consistently coming up short on time for marketing because you’re workdays are filled with tending to customers or employees, calling vendors and maintaining your bookkeeping, these five simple tips can give your business marketing the boost it needs.
- Jumpstart Your Email Marketing. An email marketing newsletter is one of the simplest, most effective ways to communicate with your customers. Place a sign-up sheet by your cash registers or have an employee approach customers while they’re in your office or store. Offer an incentive for signing up, such as a 20 percent off coupon. Compile an email list and, using a professional newsletter platform such as Constant Contact or Aweber, email your customers once or twice a week about sales, services or information related to your business that adds value.
- Request Customer Reviews. Many consumers make the decision to try a new business or not based upon the reviews they read. Encourage reviews in your email newsletter and provide a link or information that leads your customers to the location where they can leave their review such as your BizYellow business listing page. Make it simple and your customers will be more likely to follow through.
- Become Community-Minded. Getting involved with the local community creates a win-win situation that benefits the people who live there and your business. Choose one local cause to get involved with and schedule community focus days so you and your employees can volunteer together.
- Keep Your Advertisements Fresh. If you want consumers to notice your advertisements, you have to keep them fresh. The same words and images in a print or online ad will eventually fade into the background. Update your advertisement text, images or promotions at least seasonally to keep them current and relevant.
- Listen and Learn. One of the best ways to build your business is to deliver a service or product that’s meaningful and useful to your customers. If you want to know how to do that, just ask. Ask your customers questions and listen to their answers. Send out periodic surveys and use the results to help increase customer satisfaction.
As you put these tips into action, you’ll be encouraged by the results you see. Capitalize on the sense of accomplishment by continuing to build on these simple marketing tips. The increase in customers and profit that you experience as a result can help you fine-tune many other areas of your local business to make it run like a well-oiled machine. But without a solid customer base, it’s difficult to progress. When implemented consistently, these five simple marketing tips can help you get results without a large investment of time.
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