I’m just starting my business. How do I market it and what should I spend?

Question: I’m just starting my business. How do I market it and what should I spend?

It’s difficult to start a business, let alone learn how to market it. It’s not uncommon for new and small business owners to find themselves in the marketing role and quickly becoming overwhelmed.

There are basics that are important to every small business owner. Marketing is not an expense it’s an investment and it’s important to have a clear understanding on where to start investing. If you can get this, you are one step ahead.

Let’s talk about the basics. You need a clear understanding of not only what marketing is and why you should do it, but also having a marketing plan. With a plan, and a basic understanding you will have taken the risk out of where you put your marketing dollars.

Many companies view marketing as an expense. The truth is when a business understands the importance and the role marketing plays in growing a business it’s clear on why marketing should be considered an investment. Marketing is crucial when it comes to gaining the attention of prospective consumers and clients, developing products or service demand and turning those prospective consumers into customers. Marketing has an affect on your sales, pricing, promotions and your advertising strategies. When you grasp this and understand the importance of marketing you can use it to promote the ongoing transition of your services/products to the customers, this can create success in your small business.

Determining how much of your resources to spend on marketing can be one the biggest obstacles that businesses face. It can also be a key component that can make or break a business. What I will tell you is that you need to allot dollars in the budget to market and advertise you company, regardless of whether you need to keep it small or have more to spend. Getting awareness of your business is vital for survival. If you open the doors without a marketing strategy, you are just setting yourself up for failure.  Since failure is unacceptable, I know you will really look at this as an opportunity to start your business with a positive light.

Also make sure to set up a marketing plan that fits into your budget and stick to it. Opening a new business can become costly, especially since every media in your area knows you are opening and they all want a piece of your budget.

One word you need to learn is …..   NO! 

Look at all offers, research the companies and don’t be afraid to ask them for  documentation of listenership, readers etc… Make sure of the cost, (make sure of no hidden cost/fees) and do not let anyone lock you into a long contract.  Long contracts, if not affordable for the duration of the contract, can close the doors on a business quickly.

This should at least get you started.  Don’t want to overwhelm you all at once.

If you have questions, please send them to stucker@apostleradio.org and I will try to answer them here.

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No Time or Money to Market Their Business

I have more people tell me that they don’t have the time or the money to market their company.  This really angers me. Why are you in business if you have no time or money to market it, and then you blame everything except yourself when it fails.  So ready or not here is my response.

“If you build it, he will come.” may have worked in the movie Field of Dreams, but it doesn’t work in real life. You have to go out and market, market, market to get your business recognized, and in any type of business, that requires a lot of personal contact. So step up or get out!

Since the primary value of a customer today is the stream of business which will result from the chain of referrals – I would find people who know about your business and have them start talking long and hard about your services and your product. Word of Mouth is still a strong marketing tool and guess what IT’S FREE!

All of your advertising only brought in what you put out. You did not make a profit the first month, nor the second month. You have attended one fair for a relatively small company and nobody has scheduled with you. You spoke with approximately 12 people, but no appointments yet.  Ok did you really think that it was going to be this easy. How much competition do you have? Have you thought about trust? Building trust? It takes twice as much time to build a relationship with clients due to there being so many people doing the same things and the economy just plain sucks right now.   You have got to be out there daily networking, meeting with people and plugging your business just to get people to remember you.

It’s obvious that you don’t have the working capital to hold on until your business turns profitable, which would take a year or so – even if you had the funds to appropriately market it. My suggestion would be this if you want to continue in this business:

  • Get out and start introducing yourself to local area businesses. Be sure to have a flyer and a business card to leave at each place you visit.
  • Find businesses that could benefit from your product or service and build a relationship with them.
  • Find local networking groups and attend them so that you can make more people aware of your business.
  • Find more fairs/events to attend that will give you alot of exposure to the masses.

If this all fails, cut your losses.  You and only you know when the time is to move forward or get out. I just hope my suggestions help you.

Have a Blessed Day!

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