Marketing your small business can be difficult. Depending on your product or service, any particular strategy may or may not be the best fit for you. So how do you know where to begin?
Fortunately, you don’t have to go it alone. Online resources such as Entrepreneur provide quick ways for you to assess your marketing needs so you can get started quickly. Here are some ideas from Entrepreneur that are tailor-made for six general types of businesses: home services, fitness, food and beverage, personal services, professional services, and retail.
Those who provide services to homeowners have their work cut out for them. Whether you’re a plumber, a handyman, or an electrician, competition in this space is fierce. Consider building your search engine optimization by posting high quality articles online in your area of expertise. With permission, you might also send your customers and leads a regular newsletter to build your credibility and keep you on their minds.
Fitness clubs and personal trainers have a unique service to sell but must keep their clients on track. That’s why you should focus on helping your clients remain engaged with their personal progress. Consider reviews of fitness-based apps, books, and online resources. Showcase your expertise by engaging with your clients via social media and/or blogging. Make a direct connection by using personal stories and pictures (with consent, of course).
Food and Beverage
Those in the food and beverage industry can create the most bang for their marketing buck by targeting repeat business. Think about using opt-in email marketing to keep your restaurant on the tip of your customers’ tongues. And make sure that the communications you are sending out are engaging, entertaining and fun, so your customers are happy to receive your emails. You may also consider working with online providers, such as Google or Facebook, to develop low-cost marketing campaigns which drive traffic to your restaurant’s website.
Businesses in the personal services industry put the focus on the customer by providing salon services, massage therapy, or alternative medicine (to name just a few). The key to success in this area is building customer loyalty. Consider punch cards, referral bonuses, freebies, and discounts for regular customers. And, definitely be sure to stay top of mind with a regular email newsletter, like this one, that features personal stories and pictures of you, your pets, and your family, which is what your customers really want to see.
Companies that provide professional services, such as lawyers, accountants, and real estate agents, work in a very competitive climate. Success depends on carving out your niche, and then establishing yourself as a thought leader in that arena. Posting regular, quality content online is a solid start. This will help drive website traffic by increasing your website’s relevance when potential customers conduct online searches. Repeat business is also important, so consider reaching out regularly to your clients using a newsletter like this one (with consent).
And remember, people hire people they know, like and trust, more often than they do faceless, nameless businesses. So keep your content entertaining, educational and personal. Pictures of you, details about your travels and life activities will help.
Many retail establishments combine traditional brick-and-mortar with online services. It is vitally important to host a professional, customer-friendly website. If designed well, your online presence will also help you to gain a wider audience for your product.
Small business owners have to work hard to compete in today’s economy. We can help. Whether it’s advising you about the consent needed to send out email newsletters to clients and prospects or helping to ensure your intellectual property is protected, we will be a valuable partner in ensuring your company’s success.
This article is a service of Gratia P. Schoemakers, Creative Business Lawyer®. One of our primary services is a LIFT Start-Up Session,™ in which we guide you through the right choice of business entity, location of business entity, start up agreements, intellectual property protection, employment structuring, insurance, financial and tax systems you need to start your next business and succeed right out of the gate.