Until a few years ago, as per SBA (Small Business Administration) estimate, about 627,000 new businesses start every year, and around 595,000 businesses shut down as well. But in actuality, the number of new start-ups has varied drastically over the past decade.
About 69 percent of entrepreneurs residing in the U.S. start their businesses from home. And as stated by the Startup Genome Project, nearly 70% of startups expand prematurely due to which 90% of them fail. Right marketing is one of the biggest challenges almost all startups have to grapple predominantly during the initial phase while they strive to reach the breakeven point and earn revenue on top of that. Almost 14 percent of startups fail only because of poor marketing, which is disappointing, and emphasizes the fact marketing is not given the right amount of consideration by most novices in the field of entrepreneurship. I have gathered a must-do list for all small businesses so they can make an impact locally. Here is what as an entrepreneur you must abide by once you launch your business endeavor:
Spread your business name everywhere online.
“If your business is not on the internet, then your business will be out of business.” – says Bill Gates.
When you start a business, whether you are selling services or products, you must know your target audience, and you must be aware of how you will execute the marketing strategy. Without marketing, your brand will not be noticed and will soon be dominated by other brands currently in the market. I am sure the idea of your business must be amazing which is why you are investing your valuable time and energy in the endeavor. Nevertheless, there are countless extraordinary ideas struggling in the competitive market trying to attract consumer attention and most just fail irrespective of the fact how amazing the original idea was. So you must use all appropriate social media platforms to create brand awareness, make a website, and stay active on every platform that benefits your business and helps you build a brand name and/or generate leads.
Get your company a face.
If you have to promote your business in the local market, it is relatively convenient because you can reach out to public at a personal level and become the face of your company. People tend to find it easy to trust a company if they know who is behind the curtain. Now even though it is commonly thought the owner of a company is the real face of that company, fact is the role could be played by anyone who has the knack to act as an effective Point of Contact and is natural at people skills – it could be your brand manager, PR person, or anyone good at public relations. Having a face to the company, draws the human element in; when consumers find someone they can relate with and access, if needed, it helps expand the customer base. Thus by making a ‘real face’ accessible to target business leads or customers utilizing online platforms you can in fact market your brand and promote your product/service more effectually than trying to achieve the same without the appeal of the human factor.
Offer free trials.
This marketing tactic works wonders for local marketing. If you have a product-based business, distributing free samples to people will spread a good word of mouth, free recommendations, and referrals. Giveaways are very common these days, nevertheless, the quality of your product determines the success of your business. You can request famous influencers, and bloggers online to endorse your product/service with or without a review (only the ones which are relevant to your product or service and help you reach your target audience). Factually speaking, no matter how much you market your business, to earn referrals, recommendations, or good word of mouth, the product or the service delivered has to be of high quality. This is the key ingredient for survival regardless of how strong your marketing strategy may be and how much you may invest in the business.
Focus on SEO
In order to create your company’s online presence, social media accounts are not sufficient, having an official website is mandatory. Social media marketing helps build a brand while an official website gets your business credibility and the “official” status in the consumer market as well as the digital world. For the first-time buyer, any other business that would like to collaborate with you in one capacity or the other, and of course potential competitors in the market, your business’ website will create a long-lasting impact. An official website comes with a significant number of benefits, some tangible and others intangible yet rewarding in the long run.
Reviews from Existing Customers
Request your happy customers to write or record a review where they recommend your company in terms of its service/product. You can request a review online, on your website or social media sites, and you can also display it physically in a place where it can also have positive impact on potential customers. A satisfied customer can get you more than just a sale, so make sure you deliver quality which is worth endorsements and referrals. Remember it is easy to re-market to an old customer than to convince and earn a new one.
Offer value to people.
I am sure your service and product would be incredible, however, the majority of the successful businesses are based on offering a solution – something that adds value to people’s lives. Either your business idea offers a solution to a problem or it does not, you can always add value by giving out free information, or by generating helpful content online.
Internet is crucial for business survival in the current era which is why before you start your business you must ensure you have a fast and stable internet connection. An internet connection that won’t ditch you when you need it the most. My recommendation as always and everywhere would be Spectrum Internet service. Go online and research with passion, study diligently how similar businesses are conducting their affairs, as to which model they are following, and how they are executing their marketing strategies. Learn from your competitors and avoid their mistakes. As far as marketing is concerned, online marketing will help your business expand its consumer base and elevate its credibility level massively.
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