Im sure you are busy with the holiday season, either personally or professional. While this is a busy time for all business owners, now is the perfect time to set aside time to plan your marketing for the coming year. How will you find new clients? How will you grow your business? What will add more to your bottom line? All of these questions are important and should be part of your ongoing planning cycle, not just the end of the year.
According to Yodle‘s recently released First Annual Small Business Sentiment Survey, 42% of small business owners said they are worried about finding new customers, making it their #1 overall concern. Additionally, 33% of small business owners surveyed said that keeping their current customers is a concern (#3 overall), while 21% of owners cited their competition as something they worry about (#6 overall).
Just focusing on these three planning items should be enough to keep you busy. The key with any marketing is touching your target market with your messages and experiences on a consistent, frequent basis. This means mailings, email marketing, signage, trade shows, event marketing as well as personal selling and account maintenance. Im sure you inherently do all of these but the better the plan the better the implementation and the better the success.
Not sure which direction to go? Ask an expert. Ask your customers. Look at your high margin items and build marketing programs around those. Understand what messaging your customers respond to and touch them with more of the same. Marketing is made up of many, many, many things, all working together. Put your message where your target market is. Do all this with consistency and a plan and you will increase the number of trips to the bank deposit line in the coming year.
We suggest you look at five areas: online marketing, offline marketing, event marketing, signage and personal selling. Customers still like to buy from people they like know and trust and you represent someone who fits those. Take advantage; find more people that are like your best customers; plan it out and get ready to celebrate your successes.