Start and Grow your own Business
CHECKPOINT 5 ( 5 of 7 ) – MARKETING.
MARKETING , Selling your products or services… THE BIG SUBJECT FOR EVERY BUSINESS…
How to sell products or services, how to get customers…. The heartbeat of a business…
One if the problems is that, if you ask 4 different people about marketing, you will probably get 4 different answers …. Because if you ask someone who is a specialist in a particular field ( for example, social media, digital marketing, branding, SEO,) that is what they will recommend.. really good to talk to these people and get ideas and information, but the ideal is to talk to a marketing or business development specialist. He or she will look at the state of your business ( start-up, or ongoing), your product of service, your target market, (business, individuals, interest group, area etc etc. , the obvious method of marketing (personal or online, or both ), your business objective ( making some extra cash or developing a serious business), and your possible budget…. Then they will come up some early ideas…,
Then you can progress to a marketing plan, but the end decision is yours !!! Good idea is to make contact with people who have actually set up successful businesses. They will comment on what has worked and what has not worked ! Every person who has set up successful businesses will have had some failures along the way.
But be careful because marketing channels and effectiveness are changing. Social media and online marketing channels continue to develop. But some of the more traditional methods of marketing like email marketing, and direct mail are still around and are very effective for some businesses.
Set the budget, set the plan, and have some measurement points along the way.. so you can check if the program is working…
FUNDING THE MARKETING
Also a point for consideration. It is almost impossible to promote, and market, a business without some money. A lot of those planning start-ups will assume that they can get a loan or, will get a grant. Forget it !! The number of people who get grants or get start-up loans is tiny. Find a way to raise some money. ( see our next blog about raising money.) Big reminder. When doing the planning, at some point you. may realise that the business you are planning is just viable. See the blog in this series on Mindset.
To create a marketing plan. Look at the Blog on the website ( address below ) about marketing channels… also research what competitors are doing… copy their good ideas and add your own ideas…
Networking. Attending business networking events can be a useful part of a marketing campaign for some people and some businesses. Ask advice about the particular networking groups which might be useful for your business or business idea. And when you join a group or attend a meeting, you must work to make contacts, promote yourself and learn how to grow your business. Too many people just turn up at meetings and hope that good congtacts will be made,
Test marketing. Once you have a product or an idea, try some ‘test marketing’ … check out the customer responses, check out the various routes to market… maybe try several options, social media ads, attending events, et etc . Find he ones that work.
LEARN THE BASICS OF MARKETING
It is also essential to learn the basics of marketing, using social media, web site content, SEO, etc etc . You don’t have to become an expert, leave that to the specialists.. but understand the issues. To learn the basics, there are multiple ( free ) sources of information, webinars, workshops. Go along with an open mind and yio will learn. And keep attending, yoi will learn something every time… and can then apply some of the knowledge and ideas to your business.
Very few people are born with natural communicating skills … some will develop these skills as they develop their businesses, but the majority of people should make the effort to improve personal communicating skills and, selling skills. Selling is a process, from identifying prospects for a business to closing a sale. Again , take the time to learn, from books, online and events. If you are not hitting your targets, take action, review your own skills, listen and learn… if unsure where to go, or what to do…. ask for advice or direction.
FREE MARKETING OFFER
Get a review of your business or idea and receive comments and information on relevant marketing channels…. Email the Business Hub ( address below) and ask for a business review form…
Ian Harris. Business Start-up and Development Specialist. Has been personally involved in developing and setting up dozens of businesses from the sole trader to the corporate. Currently has 4 businesses, so all experience is current.
Sponsored by the Croydon Business Startup Hub