So you've just started your business and you need to start bringing clients, but don't have sufficient money to spend on advertising such as print, web, radio or television. In saying that, not marketing your business' products or services can be much more financially riskier. The old saying â€˜you have to spend money to make money' applies here. The good news for start up and small businesses alike is that there literally hundreds of cost effective ideas you can use to increase your client base and revenue.
This article will discuss five highly efficient and cost effect ways any business can use to market their products and services.
Talk to Your Existing Clients
Do you have any existing clients? You do! Great! It's quite interesting how some businesses spend excessive amounts of money on gathering marketing information when all that information is at their fingertips in the form of their existing client base. Talking to your existing clients and customers is quite easily one of the most effective ways to increase revenue. Ideally, you'll want this to be done by someone from outside of your company so your clients can be open and honest about how you conduct your business.
When the perception of your business is being assessed, you won't need to speak to every one of your customers. Regardless if you are a retail business or a service based business, simply choose a sample of 5-10 clients and ask whether they would like to have the opportunity to give feedback about your business, regardless if it is good or bad. What you need to remember is to take on board what you have learnt and use it. If you don't, then you have wasted everyone's time, including your own.
Many businesses have implemented this particular strategy and have seen significant increases in their business in as little as 12 months. They learnt what their customers wanted, how their findings made a difference, how to present it, how to price it, and then made the necessary changes to improve on the areas discussed based on the information they received.
What needs to be remembered here is that when you are getting this information, treat it as a casual conversation. A simple Q & A session might seem the best way to go about it, but your customers may find it intimidating and thus won't give you what you need to know. The interviewer must engage in a casual conversation with them with a view to gathering as much important information as possible. Remember you do not want to know how satisfied they are but how much they value your products or services.
Creatively Packaging Your Marketing Campaigns
Flyers are a great way to market your business, but putting together a pack that includes a number of useful promotional products such as cups, USB sticks, notepads, pens etc. is an even better way. These items will need to be relevant to your business, but the more you start to think outside the box with your marketing campaigns and strategies, the more impact they will have.
Also, have a look at what other companies are doing and use it in your own business. You want to engage with your customers about your services, so every little detail needs to stand out. Success will be determined by setting objectives for your efforts and how success will be measured. Regardless of its success, you will need to follow up on your campaign to measure the results and make any necessary adjustments.
Take Advantage of Existing Relationships
Similar to the first point, you should take advantage of existing relationships. Most people will know at least 100 people and each of them may know 100 people, which means you will have access to at least 10,000 people. Turning a small percentage of those into clients would be a positive result. To begin with, spending time cultivating the relationships with the people you already know can go a long way in reaching significantly more people.
From here prioritise this list of people in Category A, Category B and Category C. Category A people are those who have a high opinion of you. They are your biggest advocates and will almost certainly refer business to you straight away. Those in Category B know a bit about you, but would be of more use if they knew more about you. You need to spend more time with these people and get them familiar with what you are all about. Your Category C people are those who you don't communicate enough with. They will know almost nothing about your business, so they will need more cultivating before they will start referring you to other businesses in their circle.