Your Next Chapter: Marketing Your Small Business

Over the past several years, due to our economic conditions and dissatisfaction with the ‘typical 9-5 job,’ many professionals have chosen to explore their entrepreneurial spirits by going it alone, and opening a small business operation.

We all know that marketing is an integral, strategic function of any business, and this is particularly so for the independent business operator, and/or, brand new business venture.

I am assuming that you own a website (your own domain name) or a blog that markets your products and services.

A well-designed website with consistently up-to-date product and services information will aid you in:

  • Building your brand’;
  • Creating global ‘awareness’;
  • Creating powerful email marketing tools, such as Aweber;
  • Encouraging a ‘referral’ network;
  • Better serving your current clients/customers;
  • Generating online traffic, and therefore, potential paying clients/customers;
  • Learning new strategies that will increase your website/blog’ effectiveness; and
  • Keeping you up-to-date and informed of your ‘competition.’

Naturally, the most effective advertising any business can use is their clients and/or customers’ feedback and referral networks. Word of mouth is still the best and most efficient way of establishing a credible business presence within your market niche. This is just part of the reason that ‘networking’ is so important, and it is imperative if you are to meet with success.

The following ‘suggestions’ will hopefully get the juices flowing, and urge you to ponder your own marketing strategies in our current economy for your new enterprise.

  • Press Release – services are cost-effective, some free of charge; effectively promote your business
  • Networking – sign up with ‘knowledge sites’ in your market niche;
  • Social Media Sites – LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google, etc., leverage this ‘free’ advertising;
  • Smaller News Publications – some offer ‘free’ advertising in ‘print’;
  • E-Newspapers – encourage write-ups of your services and products;
  • Articles Sites – check out free article submission sites and get your message across;
  • Brochures, Marketing materials distribution – inexpensive ‘bulk’ mail services; and
  • Video – Create a marketing video for your business on You Tube and other Video sites, free of charge.

One of the local businesses in my neighbourhood here in Vancouver did not have a website until very recently. This was in large part due to the owner’s belief that a website would be a very expensive endeavour, and a vehicle that would not prove to be cost-effective.

I am very pleased to tell you that, following my discussions with one of the partners of the business, they moved forward and developed a site, which of course has gained the shop’s popularity, and substantially increased their sales.

Any business today, new or established, must leverage the opportunities that an Internet presence can bring. The Internet is the most powerful marketing tool we have at our disposal.

With the significant decline in standard newspaper advertising methods, the Internet affords our businesses the luxury of having the most cost-effective method of ‘e-commerce’, and the enviable advantage of achieving a ‘global reach’, when compared to those that do not take full advantage of this marvelous marketing tool.