It may have taken years, but that business plan you’ve had floating around in your head for a while has finally become a reality. You’ve ironed out all the details with distributors, you have a clear idea of how you’re going to sell your products or services and you’re ready to take on your first day as the head honcho at your own shop.
But wait – you’ve missed an important step that every small business owner needs to take care. Before you even sign the lease on office space or cut the ribbon on your grand opening, you need to come up with a marketing strategy to get your name out there. If your business has any chance of success where so many others have failed, a tried-and-true advertising outreach program will put your brand on the lips of every customer in town. Check out these three marketing steps that every new business should take.
1. Standardize your branding
The first and arguably most important step in marketing your new company is to establish a uniform identity that customers can grow to recognize. You might have dozens of logos, mission statements and color schemes stored up in your head, but now’s the time to condense them all into a uniform brand logo that you can put on everything – yes, everything.
Start slapping your logo on anything you can afford. If you’re just looking to get your name out there, stickers and temporary tattoos can be a great way to attract adults and children alike. Myron’s Jolie Promo Pen can be customized with your new branding, and you can even choose the color to really drive home your business’s uniform message.
Aside from promotional giveaways, you’ll also want a standardized logo and message for items more closely related to your business operations. Business cards are basically currency in industries that rely on word of mouth and reputation, so make sure these are in line with your overall branding strategy.
2. Find your niche
Once you’ve standardized your brand logo and placed it on every promotional giveaway you can get your hands on, it’s time to find where and how your business can best connect with consumers. Unless you’ve stumbled on the secret to cold fusion or you’re the first business of your kind, BusinessKnowHow.com explained that you’ll have to differentiate yourself from competitors for real success.
To accomplish this, look at your business from an external perspective. What do you do that other companies don’t? How would you run your competitors’ businesses if you could? Take these answers and publicize how you provide better service or products on every platform imaginable. Social media can be an inexpensive way to reach a wide consumer base in a short amount of time, so make sure you log into the LinkedIn and Facebook accounts you’ve created often.
3. Start a blog
You’re not a writer, so why would you want to start a blog for your business? Even if you don’t have much experience creating engaging content, Jonathan Long, founder and chief executive officer of Market Domination, explained in a column for the Huffington Post that modern customers expect a meaningful relationship with the brands they interact with. By providing regular content about what your business does and why it helps your consumers, they’ll be more likely to turn to you rather than your competitors when they need a product or service in your field.
Starting a new business is tough work, but smart promotional giveaways and effective branding might get your idea off the ground.