Small Business Strategy: 4 Vital Tips for Success

Your small business strategy rests directly on the foundation of your marketing system; and if you don’t have a marketing system and you’re not planning on creating one, then you have no small business strategy. End of.

If being successful in business is important to you, then there is no alternative but to take marketing very seriously indeed, and to educate yourself to become very, very good at it. Frankly, the level of marketing expertise I see from most small business owners is embarrassing.

The furthest most of them go is to have some fuzzy notion about the need for more business, and then to leave the rest to chance, hoping, wishing and even praying for punters to walk through the door or hit their website and buy something from them. But hope is a rotten strategy for success.

If you want to enjoy the advantages of a successful marketing system, you need to understand most of what you listen to, believe, and probably think you know about marketing and small business strategy is incorrect. The business world is dominated by marketing myths, and they serve no one but a few phonies.

Strategy idea # 1: Marketing is a money maker

Most small business strategy is curbed by an unscientific “marketing budget”. But why? If you’re marketing properly, then you should be getting an expected positive ROI from everything you do. So… why would you limit your marketing according to some number a bean counter has pulled out of his butt? Bottom line: when your marketing is making money like this, and it’s measurable, trackable and predictable, be ready to plough back as much as you have into it.

Strategy tip # 2: Grab the keys to the Mint!

OK, now let’s pretend you have this stupendous marketing system and you know from experience there’s a 90 % probability every time you run it you’re going to make a handsome profit. A nice place to be, right?

Right. (it’s eminently practical for your business, too).

Nope. If you had any sense at all you’d keep pushing that button like a rat with a wire in its head giving it the shots of “happy juice”

Strategy tip # 3: Look before you leap
But, be smart about this. Start with small tests and monitor responses like a hawk watching a mouse. And even when you have a process that works, don’t wager more than you can stand losing, because the unpredictable happens, and you don’t want to be cleared out by rotten luck falling on bad judgement.

The safe thing to do is determine your evil “budget” as a fraction of profits, so the more you bring in, the more money you can spend on your marketing.

More than once small business owners have said to me they can’t do any more marketing this year on the grounds that they don’t have the budget for it, even though their marketing is making them a profit. Some years ago, right at the beginning of the 2007 recession, I heard a real estate agent say she was stopping all of her advertising, even though it was the only thing bringing in business. Now THAT is insane..

Strategy tip # 4: How to make it pay

So how do you know when your marketing is working?

When it’s making you money.

How do you know that?

By ruthlessly and conscientiously tracking and measuring everything you do.

So the “secret” here is to ensure that your small business strategy is designed in a way to let you track every sale to the marketing activity that brought it in. Right down to every email, postcard and sales call. You can never ever have too much information about this, since it’s the difference that’ll make you wealthy.

Logo Design Tips – Small Businesses

When you intend to do something, if you don’t know the ins and outs of it, then the chances are that you won’t be able to get quality stuff. Also, the chances of getting defrauded increase significantly. But, the problem is that you can’t become an expert in each and every field in this world. Hence, what you need to do is to acquire the expertise of a reliable and experienced person or company. Now, the same thing can be applied to the design industry. When you are willing to create a logo design for your business, then you need to know who to hire and what to look for to ensure that you get more for your money and that you don’t end up losing your money.

So, let’s discuss some important things that you should do and look for to ensure that you create your brand identity / logo design in an influential way.

Hire a Professional Designer: This is something extremely important. Will you ever hire an unprofessional to fix your roof or ceiling? No, you will never take the risk, because you don’t want your ceiling to collapse. So, if you take the risk of hiring an unprofessional designer, then the chances will increase that sooner or later your business will collapse due to its cheap image and identity. Don’t just go and hire a graphic designer. Make sure that you actually hire a professional logo designer with vast experience in creating logos for small businesses.

Get Many Logo Design Concepts: Once you feel interested in hiring a designer or company, you need to first check their packages. It is advisable to get a package with several concepts. This will assist you in making a decision easily and conveniently. As it is important to create your business image effectively, having several concepts will enable you to mix different ideas that you will get through different concepts. So, never go for 1 concept. Always ask more several concepts.

Get Unlimited Revisions: It is not really possible to get the logo done in the first attempt. So, it is advisable to tell your designer to give you unlimited revisions. A lot of companies and designers will give you a limited number of revisions. Don’t be fooled by that, because after they provide you with the set number of revisions and if you are not satisfied, then you will lose your money. So, go for a logo design company that offers unlimited revisions with their packages.

Free Stuff: Sooner or later you will be needing stationery for your business. A lot of logo design companies offer free stationery designs with some of their logo design packages. It is advisable to get them now, because later you will end up paying more for them. So, look for an affordable logo design package that also offers free stationery designs. This will include: Business Card Design, Letterhead Design and Envelope Design. All these things are important for businesses and if you can get them for free then there is nothing better than that.

Top 6 Tips for Small Business Looking To Embrace Social Media Marketing

For small businesses, social media marketing is essential. It can be the difference between having a successful enterprise or a struggling trade. This is due to the large potential that social media marketing presents.

Unlike multinational organisations, small sized businesses do not have huge marketing budgets to conduct sufficient market research. As a result, social media offers the opportunity for small businesses to directly communicate with customers and discuss all aspects of the business. Businesses can gain vital information relating to their services, and in return, market products and see where improvements can be made.

However, using social media marketing is not as simple as logging into Facebook or Twitter and posting comments. Utilising these websites from a business prospective requires a careful balance of time and strategy. Here are six tips for small businesses looking to embrace social media marketing.

Plan an effective strategy– Before you create a website that bundles all social media websites that you’re planning to sign up to, outline key targets and the ways needed to employ them. Decide which social media websites to use, who within the company will carry it out and what method will be used to assess the progress of the campaign.

Locate your customers– Conduct market research to establish which social media websites your customers predominantly use. For potential customers, search keywords and topics relating to your business to find out relevant blogs and forums to join and communicate.

Time management – As social media marketing can be very time consuming, it is important to find enough time during the business day to communicate with customers and build effective relationships. Customers who see regular activity or have their queries and questions answered are more likely to follow the business and recommend their services. Remember though; don’t just market your business, listen to what your customers have to say.

Be the specialist– Pass on useful information and give solutions that will help customers. This will not only show you’re an expert in your industry, but it will also help build a rapport between you and your customers.

Integrate personality – The best way to maintain relationships is to write honestly and openly. Customers are more willing to communicate with people they like as opposed to business representatives. Another way of incorporating personality is to display a ‘human’ picture and not just the business logo. You should use the same personality when you create a website for your business, so people will recognise the brand.

Offer incentives– Make online customers feel as though they are valuable by offering exclusive discounts and promotions. This will help sustain interest and ensure customers feel integrated in the business.

By implementing these tips, small businesses can effectively promote and expand their online brand, and in the long run, gain more customer awareness. Well planned social media marketing will leave customers talking and consequently; they will be more likely to buy into the brand. Ultimately the key to success is hard work. Posting comments now and again, will only lead to customers disregarding the business, whereas, active weekly posts will result in an online presence that customers can trust and depend on.