Need help with a small business marketing plan


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The importance of strategically marketing your business cannot be overstated. Find out how you can create value for your clients, improve your brand, retain existing customers, attract new customers and ultimately increase the profitability of your business. Check out

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Need help with a small business marketing plan

  1. 1. Need Help With a Small Business Marketing PlanNeed Help With aSmall BusinessMarketing Plan
  2. 2. Need Help With a Small Business Marketing PlanThe importance of strategically marketing your business cannotbe overstated. Find out how you can create value for yourclients, improve your brand, retain existing customers, attractnew customers and ultimately increase the profitability of yourbusiness. Click hereMost small business owners fail when it comes totheir small business marketing plans. Theyve gotexcellent technical skills in their line of work, but thatjust doesnt translate to having effective marketingskills.As a result, profitability of many small businesseshas been declining over the years. Ever increasingcompetition is making it more challenging in manyways. For those businesses that arent losingmoney, most are not producing the profit they couldbe if they knew how to market themselves properly.These business owners usually just copy what theysee other businesses doing, or they follow the adviceof some media sales person. The problem is they
  3. 3. Need Help With a Small Business Marketing Plancopy the wrong types of businesses, and the mediasales people typically only know as much abouteffective marketing as the business owner does.Without the right kind of marketing system in place,the success of any business is by pure chance. Tohelp remedy this situation, below are seven things asmall business can do to increase profits whilespending less on marketing.1. Use the power of free stuffEveryone likes getting free stuff and you can usethat to your advantage. If your business lends itselfto giving away free samples of your product, do that.It helps get people hooked on it. Business profitshave boomed on this marketing model.
  4. 4. Need Help With a Small Business Marketing PlanAs Chris Anderson author of the book titled, "Free:The Future of a Radical Price" says, "You can makemake money giving things away. In his book he talksabout how businesses are giving away products andservices they used to charge for, and in return, apercentage of their customers are buying somethingelse. As a result, they are making more money thanever.When you give something away, you often activate auniversal law called the "Law of Reciprocity." It saysthat when people get something free, they feelobligated to do something for you. Obviously itdoesnt work every time, but it does work enough ofthe time.But there is another way to give away free stuff thatcan greatly benefit your business. When you do itright you get something very valuable in return:customer contact info...which leads us to the next tip.
  5. 5. Need Help With a Small Business Marketing Plan2. Start capturing customer contact info and use itOne of the biggest mistakes small business ownersmake is not tapping their current customer base.They let customers visit their business (online oroffline) all day long without ever trying to capturetheir contact info so they can continue to marketproducts or services to them.You likely know how expensive it can be to get anew customer. But you can market to your currentcustomers for little or no cost. Capturing and usingcustomer contact info can mean the differencebetween a profitable business and one that barelygets by.Your business has more customer value in it than acustomer can possibly digest in a short visit so if youarent continually marketing to your customers, youare throwing money away!
  6. 6. Need Help With a Small Business Marketing PlanYou can make customer contact capture easiersimply by using the power of free from tip numberone. Simply start a monthly drawing to give awaysomething free and print some registration slipsvisitors can fill out. Also have people register onlineon your website.Tell customers they only have to register once for alldrawings and you will contact them monthly viaemail to let them know who won. Of course you willalways include an offer for a product or service!What do you give away? Anything with a perceivedvalue makes a great free item. Free items do nothave to be expensive. Buy something on sale atWalMart or at eBay and offer it. You can also offerfree informational reports that help people solve theirproblems. People are always looking for ways tosolve problems they are having.
  7. 7. Need Help With a Small Business Marketing PlanOf course, once you capture this information youhave to do something with it. If youre too busy totake on any more work, then the next tip will helpyou out.3. Use automated tools to keep in touch withcustomersOnce you have a customer list, I recommend yousend a minimum of 25 "messages" a year to it. Amessage could be an email, direct mail piece, fax, orphone call.If you dont use an automated tool to do the work foryou, youll likely be too busy to get the job done.When you automate, your messages go outregardless of how busy you get (the more messagesthat go out, the busier youll get).
  8. 8. Need Help With a Small Business Marketing PlanOne tool you can use is an email autoresponder,which is a web-based system that sends out emailswhen someone signs up. It sends out emails atintervals you set up. You can also set it up to sendan email on a specific day, such as a holiday.The great thing about an autoresponder tool is thatyou enter your messages in the autoresponder onetime, then it automatically sends emails to your list.You can also broadcast messages any time youwant.Using this tool, keeping in touch with your customersis easy and it will help keep the competition fromcreeping in and stealing your customers becausetheyve forgotten about you and the services youprovide.
  9. 9. Need Help With a Small Business Marketing Plan4. Stop marketing like youre a big business.Marketing a small business like its a big business issomething almost every small business owner does.They just copy the marketing they see being done atlarge companies with big brands. This kind ofmarketing is called "brand identity," "brand building,"or "image" marketing.This is a HUGE waste of advertising money for asmall business. You simply dont have the resourcesyou need to support a successful brandingcampaign.Brand advertising typically has no "call to action,"(they dont ask you to do anything). They just giveyou features of the product or service, or theyentertain you without asking you to do anything.Brand advertising is usually benefit free. The viewerhas to determine if there is a benefit to them. It may
  10. 10. Need Help With a Small Business Marketing Plancontain a list of features and the user will have toassign their own benefit to each feature. It is usuallyfocused on the product or provider of the productinstead if the customer.A successful marketing campaign for a smallbusiness is created around direct responsemarketing techniques.5. Use old fashioned direct response techniques innew waysThe kind of marketing plan that works for a smallbusiness is direct response marketing. It doesntrequire a huge marketing budget to use effectively. Itcan be used for all types of products and services.And the good news is that you dont even have tohire an advertising agency to do it since it doesntrequire creativity. All you have to do is learn the
  11. 11. Need Help With a Small Business Marketing Planbasic structure of direct response marketing and youcan easily increase the sales your business makes.Direct response sales copy always asks the readeror viewer to take some sort of action i.e. "Call in thenext 5 minutes, and well include a free set of Ginzusteak knives!".It may ask for the sale directly if a full "salespresentation" was done (one-step advertising), or itmay ask them to request more information (two-stepadvertising). It will at a minimum, ask the reader totake some form of "traceable" action so you know if itis working or not.There should always be a headline for writtenadvertisements! Never put your company logo at thetop of a direct response advertisement. Thats brandadvertising.
  12. 12. Need Help With a Small Business Marketing PlanWhenever you create an advertisement in any formalways look at them from the customer point of view.Look it and ask "Who gives a crap?" abouteverything in it. Do you think the customer caresabout your logo. No! They care about what you cando for them. Put in benefits and not features. Let thecustomer know whats in it for them. A successfuldirect response ad for a small business includesseveral things:An offer to buy somethingSufficient information for the consumer to make adecision to act now (or directions on how to get moreinfo)An explicit "call to action" sooner rather than later
  13. 13. Need Help With a Small Business Marketing PlanA clear way to respond such as a telephone numberor web pageA means of tracking the response.Direct response advertising is not just used for mailcampaigns. You use it in all forms of media: print,web, mail, and broadcast. Take a look at all theadvertising you are currently doing no matter whereit is and start making the change now.
  14. 14. Need Help With a Small Business Marketing Plan6. Use the Internet to advertise for freeEven though websites as we know them haveexisted since around the early 90s, only 49%* ofsmall businesses currently have a website *9/08,Barlow Research. Its surprising how manybusinesses do not understand how powerful thismarketing tool is. If you dont have a website, getone because there is no better source of freeadvertising!The Internet has hundreds of "Web 2.0" websiteswhere you post "content" for free. The content canbe text, videos, or audios you create and it can leadpeople to your business. Plus, it helps establish youas an expert in your field.
  15. 15. Need Help With a Small Business Marketing is one such place you can postcontent. There was no charge to post this article. AllI had to do is write it, post it, and then you found it.You can put links in the "author resource" section, todrive traffic to a page on your website. The articlesyou post in EzineArticles can rank extremely well inGoogle search results with a little help from you.You also want to get your business listed in placeslike Google Local if you do local business. Onceagain this is absolutely free.Once you learn how to do use the Internet forpromotion youll have a head start on the future ofadvertising and you get customers for free!
  16. 16. Need Help With a Small Business Marketing Plan7. Outsource routine marketing tasks so you canwork on the growing your businessOne of the biggest problems small business ownershave is that they get so consumed by working INtheir business, they dont have time to work ON theirbusiness. So no growth can occur.When it comes to marketing yourself on the Internet,there are ways to use "virtual assistants" to do mostof the work for you. A virtual assistant is someoneyou hire on a full or part-time basis who does thework for you.But a virtual assistant is not a direct employee soyou dont provide benefits or have the normalhassles of an employee. They are usually locatedsomewhere in the world that has low-cost wages sothey are very affordable. Thats the beauty of theInternet and the communication it provides.
  17. 17. Need Help With a Small Business Marketing PlanVirtual assistants arent just confined to smallbusiness marketing plan tasks though. They can doalmost anything for you: reservations, scheduleappointments, answer phones, customer service,send flowers, buy a present for your spouse, findsomeone to fix your car, website development,accounting, software development, writing, graphics,or anything you need.There are lots of resources on the Internet that canhelp you find a virtual assistant.Create Your Small Business Marketing Plan Now!Use these seven marketing tips to start building yoursmall business marketing plan right now. If youprocrastinate, your busy life will get in the way ofbusiness growth. Even if you only take a little of the
  18. 18. Need Help With a Small Business Marketing Planadvice youve been given, youll find it can have a bigimpact on the profitability of your business.The importance of strategically marketing your business cannotbe overstated. Find out how you can create value for yourclients, improve your brand, retain existing customers, attractnew customers and ultimately increase the profitability of yourbusiness. Click here
  19. 19. Need Help With a Small Business Marketing PlanTim Bruxvoort is an ecommerce entrepreneur who operates a full-time ecommerce businesscalled He also is a partner in a small business marketing plansconsulting business that helps small business owners improve their marketing.For more information go to Source: