Getting a small business off the ground can be tough. There’s a team of employees to assemble and train, clients to acquire and a reputation to build. Furthermore, the marketing strategies of big business don’t always translate to small corporations and upstarts – so in order to reach that lofty goal, you’ve got to stick to a different rule set.
Luckily, InkHead has a variety of fantastic small business marketing tips to lead you in the right direction. Whether you’re a coffee house finding its footing in a new neighborhood, a tech firm just setting down roots in a big city or any kind of business in between, you’ll find this advice applies to you. Try these ten tips and see where they take you!
1. Have your employees dress the part
Before you can start building an established name within the community, you want to make sure you’ve developed a strong team on your home turf. Not only will you want to pick the very best employees for the job, you should give them the opportunity to bond organically as well. One way to speed up this process could be with personalized golf shirts. These fit well, look professional and can help reinforce corporate bonding.
2. Head to trade shows
Now that you’ve got a strong company backbone and some dedicated workers, start getting your name out there by hitting up the right trade shows. As a small business, much of your clientele may be local, but if you’re looking to reach an expansive market – as is often the case for web-based small businesses – trade shows are the route to take. Put together an informative press kit and build some excitement.
3. Offer clients and visitors custom pens
Time after time, both large and small businesses have found that one of the best ways to build brand recognition is to simply invest in one small promotional product that all companies need: custom pens. Best of all, handing these out to visitors and clients is a fantastic way to spread your brand further – no one turns down a free pen.
4. Get plugged in to social media
Social media is sure to be an enormous part of establishing an identity for your company. Facebook, Twitter and other social media heavies are key to helping establish a place in the public conscious. But beyond that, social media also makes for a free and fast way to advertise.
5. Rethink your newsletters
Many small businesses like to keep their regular clients in the loop with newsletters. While your first step should be to turn your newsletter into an e-newsletter, make sure you make it online friendly, with plenty of eye-catching graphics and hyperlinks. If you offer coupons, make them easy to scan off smartphones or other devices.
6. Reward your faithful clients
This goes without saying, but it’s especially important for small businesses. When you’ve got regular business coming in, keep it that way by showing your clients how much you appreciate what they consistently offer you.
7. Sponsor a local event
Even if your clientele isn’t primarily local, creating a good reputation in the community is a must. One of the best ways to do this while also spreading your brand is to sponsor a local event. Whether it’s a fundraiser, an activities-day centered around kids or a 5K road race, playing host is a great idea. And don’t forget to offer attendees branded custom keychains.
8. Work with other local businesses
If you sponsor an event, likely you’ll be doing so with the bolstering help of other local businesses. This is a great opportunity to reach out and get to know them. You may even find common ground and discover advertising opportunities you can take together. Buddying up for ads is a great way to cut costs.
9. Invest in a variety of promotional products
Generally, promotional products are a cost-efficient way to draw a significant amount of attention to your services in a more permanent way than traditional advertising. While someone can delete a newsletter from their email inbox or recycle a newspaper or magazine ad, they’re not going to toss a custom pen or promotional coffee mug.
10. No matter how much you grow, stay friendly
One of the most important lessons small businesses should learn is to stay friendly, no matter how big they get. It’s that local pride and down-home character that’s helped to launch you as far as you come, so hold onto it and watch yourself go even further.
Are you a small business with some great tactics of your own? Share and let us know how you’ve managed to break out and get your brand recognized.