If you don’t already know, marketing is one of the first steps in opening a small business and is an essential part of helping a business grow and beat out the competition. Large companies such as Starbucks, Target, Walmart, Forever 21, and other big-name businesses all spend millions each year just on marketing alone. Marketing involves getting information on customer demographics, what they want, how they want it, and how much they’re willing to pay for products.
Without marketing, it’s impossible to know how to adequately advertise your product, estimate other costs such as production and cost containment for small businesses, and other information that is necessary to make your brand or small business trusted.
Where Can I get Help?
Some people go to business school and even pursue an MBA in order to learn more about marketing. A ton of services, such as the over 700,000 consulting firms that provide services across virtually all aspects of business globally, can be one of the companies to help you in marketing. But, as a small business, some simple marketing tips and starting off small could be all you need in order to gather enough information to start your business, hire the best employees, and make a great product that sells. Not only that, but marketing teams can also be expensive, and research can be done on your own until you’re ready and have the funds to expand and hire a more dedicated team. If you’re just starting off your business, here are 10 marketing tips to help you get started on the journey towards success.
1. Interview Customers
When starting off market research, gathering information from customers is one of the best marketing tips to get your foot in the door. Find out through surveys and studies how people react to, let’s say, advertisements, slogans, and even product colors. How much do they pay, where do they get it, and what are their reactions to different brands? Taking key information through surveys from your customers will help you so much in the long run to develop a superior brand and product.
2. Research Similar Products
After you’re done interviewing customers, research the competition yourself. For example, if you’re opening up a hair salon, go into the local salon and see what services, prices, and products they off. What is their customer service like? Is there something that you find lacking as a customer that you can then take to your business? There is always something to be found, and doing research on the competition can make your business that much better.
3. Find out the Best Price
The price of a product and service you offer isn’t just about the making of the actual product. Though manufacturers contribute $2.17 trillion a year to the U.S. economy and play a big part in small businesses, manufacturing isn’t the only part of figuring out how to price your business services fairly. For instance, Levi Strauss jeans adds a certain amount of money into their jeans price in order to maintain a budget for legal expenses. These miscellaneous costs should be factored into your business, and market research is a great way to find out how much.
4. Know Where to Cut Costs
Just like you must find out how much to charge for your product, cutting costs will have to be done at some point in order to create more demand and attract customers. Market research can help you make smart decisions when it comes time to cut costs.
5. Have a Website
Every small business needs a website nowadays to be successful. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but a simple, well-designed and well-organized website can not only help you market your business, but also help customers in placing orders, researching your company, and even networking.
6. Have a Social Media Platform
Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, having a great social media platform is one of the best marketing tips to follow. Not only will it help you connect with new and existing customers, but also network and promote with other businesses, as well as keep you trendy!
7. Make use of Mobile Apps
Mobile apps are a great way to earn more customers by creating a point system, rewards points, promoting sales, and so on. In addition, you can showcase your products to customers through your app and update inventory in real-time! Only 33% of retailers have mobile technology to show their consumers available inventory online, so be part of the majority!
8. Have a Great Customer Service Team
Following these marketing tips means nothing without good customer service. If you’re just starting off, perhaps you and an associate are enough to answer customer concerns, but as you grow, remember to grow your customer service team as well.
9. Keep up with Trends
Fashion trends, food trends, and technology trends are ever-changing and evolving. It’s not enough to do research on your customers once when opening up. Continue the research in trends every season in order to keep up with your customers, their likes and dislikes, and most importantly their business.
10. Know your Audience
Audiences, like trends, change over time. For example, does the community you live in want sustainable clothes and food now? Is the nightlife growing bigger and now there’s an opportunity for you to expand? Who has bought your product in the past, and who will buy it now? Keep with your audience, and don’t just do research to sell to them, but to be the brand for them.
Successful Businesses Market Every Day
These are just some of the great marketing tips you can find online during your research, as well as just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to running a successful business. Continue to do diligent research every day, and never give up on your product, your business, and your customers. Marketing is the difference between a flop and a success.
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