To new business owners, starting a business is often its own reward. They are thrilled to be able to be their own bosses, and to successfully get a business up and running. Often they are happy just to keep the dream alive.
But every business needs to grow. That doesn’t mean you have to reach out to a larger market – it means working toward increasing your share of the one you are targeting. This will keep your business healthy enough to survive obstacles such as tough economic times.
In order to keep moving forward, we need to market our businesses constantly. We need to dedicate a certain percentage of our resources to building our brand and reaching our target market. Here are some simple things you can do to move up that marketing ladder.
* Have a clear picture of your target market. Find out what types of people use the products and services you provide and respond to your business philosophies. If you’re not marketing to the right people, all will be lost.
* Research, research, research. Determine how to best reach your target market and what they expect out of your offerings. Study your competition carefully, and make note of what they’re doing right and wrong.
* Choose your marketing channels wisely. If your target market rarely reads, there’s no point in advertising in a magazine. Use what you’ve learned about them to find the best possible outlets for your message, and focus your marketing efforts there.
* Give your advertising a chance. Studies show that consumers require repeated exposure to a product before they will even consider buying. So don’t be surprised if one ad run doesn’t bring spectacular results. If you’ve done your homework and found a viable way to reach your market, run the ad at least two more times before you evaluate the results.
* Take advantage of free publicity. Sending out press releases and finding other ways to attract the media will give you high-quality exposure, and it won’t eat into your budget.
* Keep track of the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. If what you’re doing is working, you should be generating more revenue. Use some of that revenue to do more marketing. If it isn’t working, make adjustments and try again.
Sometimes you’ll have to take a step back on the marketing ladder. But that’s not a sign you’ve failed. It’s a sign that you’re a smart marketer. Sometimes the market changes, and it’s up to us to monitor those changes and adjust our marketing plans accordingly. No successful company markets the same way forever. By evolving with our target market, we can climb the marketing ladder to the top.