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Vol. 2 issue #315 July 28, 2010


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5 Small Business Marketing Strategies to Use Right Away 

by Karen Scharf

Marketing is the life-blood of your business; it is what sustains all businesses today, small and corporate alike. Marketing is the combination of strategies you apply in your small business to get new customers, to maintain customer loyalty and to increase your business profitability. If you want to grow your business, here are five small business marketing strategies you should put into practice right away:

1. Personalize whenever possible. Your customers will feel more valued when you send out relevant, personalized communications. And if you can take the time to hand write a few of your correspondence, you will definitely stand out from the crowd. What kinds of things can you personalize? You can send out post cards with hand written short messages to your loyal customers. A hand written thank you card is sure to go a long way. Or how about a quick "I'm thinking of you" note card?

And if you don't have time to hand write very often, at least make sure the messages you send are pertinent to the client you're sending them to. I'll never forget the day I received a letter from our mortgage company saying something to the effect of "If you're a business, call this number; and if you're an individual, call this number." My own mortgage company didn't know whether I was an individual or a business?! It wasn't long before we found a new mortgage lender.



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2. Use creativity to get your name out there. Chances are, you have limited dollars for promotional items and advertisements in your small business marketing budget. Instead of expensive, full-color, high gloss brochures and flyers, why not consider a black and white newsletter that you can distribute more often. You'll get a better bang for your buck by utilize an inexpensive strategy that you can repeat more often over an outlandish marketing strategy that you can only do once.

Why not consider email marketing, blogging, classified ads, and email autoresponders that are all less expensive than more traditional advertising so they can be repeated more often. Just be sure not to bite off more than you can chew all at one time. There's no need to take on every single new marketing strategy all at once. Work one into your schedule, and when you get the hang of that one, add another marketing strategy into your schedule.



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3. Create Urgent Offers. Most small businesses don't have lots of time to sit around and wait for prospects to decide to make a purchase. You want your prospects to buy and to buy now. Build a sense of urgency into every promotional offer you make. Use deadlines, time sensitive bonus offers, limited supply items, etc. to incentivize your prospects to make their purchases sooner rather than later.

4. Use the Phone. I'm not quite sure why, but many of the small business owners that I consult with are afraid of the phone. Since so few entrepreneurs actually use the phone, placing a few calls here and there will definitely have you standing out from the crowd. One way to get over your fear of the phone is to have a mini-script already prepared. Know what you're going to say ahead of time, and then practice it. Jot down a few notes on index cards - you don't want to read your phone call word for word from a script. Make your first calls as introductory calls; they're much easier to handle than traditional sales calls. And if you're really super nervous about using the phone, try your mini-script out on a few friends or clients with whom you've already built up a great rapport.


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5. Use Buddy Ads. You can collaborate with other businesses to exchange advertisements. You advertise in their place of business or on their website or in their newsletter, and vice versa. This small business marketing strategy works best when you collaborate with businesses that attract the same audience as yours but are not direct competitors of yours. If you're a veterinarian, you can do buddy ads with a dog groomer. If you own a furniture you can do buddy ads with a realtor.

No single marketing strategy is ever effective to all small business. You will have to change your strategies from time to time or to use a combination of the strategies to maximize results. Your overall goal is to keep your business presence known to as many prospects as possible. By combining these extremely effective small business marketing strategies, you'll be well on your way to growing your business an increasing your bottom line.



Karen Scharf began designing and developing websites in 1998, when she began Modern Image Communications. The marketing communications firm has since grown to provide a wide variety of marketing-related services to small businesses and entrepreneurs, including: business and marketing plan development, newsletter publication, copywriting services, info-product development, and strategic planning. Modern Image Communications basically serves as a one-stop-shop for a small business's marketing needs.

For more small business marketing tips visit Karen Scharf's website at ModernImage.com.

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