Generating Buzz for your Small Business on a Budget

Peter B. GiblettStarred Page By Peter B. Giblett, 2nd Jun 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Business>Sales & Marketing

One of the greatest challenges in creating a small business is in generating a buzz for your entity and turning that buzz to your advantage. Here are seven ways that can be used in order to generate feeling that your products or services are the right ones for the client.

Introduction

When you are running a small business it is important to let others know about what you do, big business by comparison has a well oiled machine that tells the world about their products, but even there there are many techniques that the new start-up can learn from because it is possible to generate a buzz about your business on little or no money and that is the aim of this article - to help you see some ways to tell people about what you do without taking time out of your busy day.

1 - Keep in Touch

Keep in touch with your contacts and clients on a regular basis, remember it is a hundred times more difficult to obtain a new client than to retain an existing one - therefore simply keeping in touch by phone or by email is a simple yet important step to take and probably takes only a small segment of your weekly hours and can be done precisely when you have little to do. It is a way to show that you both appreciate their business and care for the relationship that you have built with them.

In a way you need to develop a sixth sense about when to call, but call you must because these are the times when something given in a simple conversation will lead to them purchasing things you have available. You will email more frequently than you call, but remember once in a while a call out of the blue may jog the memory about what you have to offer.

2 - Ask for Business

During the course of the week there are many places you go that could become customers - and truth is many business owners actually shy away from asking for business. For example if one of the things you do is print sales brochures when you go to your local hairdresser, then ask where they have their brochures printed - it may be that they are a part of a chain and all are printed centrally but often the franchise owner has to pay the bill, so local printing may be cheaper, especially if you bring them with you next time you have your hair cut.

Truth is these simple things are often overlooked and we talk to people in many places, in the doctor's office, while accompanying your child to their little league baseball game, waiting with parents for school to end, each provide an opportunity to talk about what you do and ask for business. People may not buy now but they may remember you in the future.

One thing you can also do is that whenever you hear anyone talking about needing services in your line of expertise is to tell them what you do and offer to give them a quote.

3 - Go Local

How many people in your area know what you do?

Truth is small business owners have their customers but tend to forget to tell others about what they do, especially people they see regularly for example in social events - you may already be friends with your next customer. Maybe it is time to start letting them know, but how you let them now will depend on the type of business that you do. If your customers are other businesses then you may need to take a walk through the local business park, but if your customers are consumer then start near you home and expand out from there.

Flyers are a great way to let people know what you do. They are often inexpensive to print and in the evening it is easy to take a walk through your neighbourhood and drop a few leaflets in mailboxes. Another approach is to ask a few local stores (those that do not compete with your business) if they can pass out your flyers or business cards, it seems like a referral to the prospective customer.

4 - Get Local Media Involved

Don't focus on the national press or the newspapers having major readership in the urban conurbation, focus on those that are local to where your business is located.

Local newspapers are frequently looking for a story of interest to their readers. It can at times be difficult to get their attention, which is why it may be best to have your press release to them relate to a local event which is in your specialist field (especially if you are an exhibitor). Even if you are not exhibiting you can still use the opportunity to draft a press release demonstrating how your service is special and how local people are important to you.

Write regular submissions to them, telling the world what you do. Editors are often looking for local interest stories and your submission may fit the bill, put you email address, street address and phone number on every submission because they may wish to follow up on your submission, particularly if it is a slow news week.

5 - Engage a Marketing Consultant

Sometimes it is necessary to learn from the experts, in this case a local marketing consultant may be able to provide some assistance. The one you use should be aware of your marketplace, both in terms of your region, but in terns of your industry.

Many will give you a free initial consultation, or even offer a reduced rate in order to bring you in as a customer. Before you attend make sure that prepare - be able to demonstrate what makes your business unique and have your questions ready, there should be no time for "um's" and "ah's". Ensure that they understand you have a limited budget (and don't be afraid to tell them how limited) and show that you are looking for them to help you without breaking the bank. Remember in turn they may offer suggestions you consider impossible, but listen to them as they may work (e.g. having TV adverts outside of major viewing times on local stations can cost a tiny fraction of that for peak viewing) and remember you never know who is watching the channel at 2 a.m.

It may be worth scheduling a future meeting with them in about 6 months, the idea being that if you have a marketing consultant engaged they will be able to inform you of marketing opportunities when they arise, but keep all meetings with them short and having focused action points.

6 - Use Social Media Daily

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google Plus and others are great ways to tell people about what you are doing and demonstrating your expertise. Show people your Social Media addresses on any material that you produce, this way if they are interested in what you do they can follow your posts long after they have thrown away the leaflet. Don't be afraid to make connections using social media, even if the connection is not a member of your target market because they may know people that are interested in what you produce or sell.

Join a discussion, many sites have discussion groups that cover specialist subjects that may be relevant to you. Don't be afraid to step in and show your expertise, show people alternative ways to do things - with social media the expertise you demonstrate is technical in nature and not about selling, but by showing expertise you demonstrate why people should buy through you.

Social media can become addictive, so I suggest you aim to spend just ten minutes in the morning and ten minutes in the afternoon on social media to maximise the impact that you can have. You can accomplish a lot in ten minutes.

7 - Make Time to Market your Business

One of the major downfalls of the small business is that they are so focused on producing or doing what they are good at that they do not take time to build and execute marketing campaigns. Most small business owners do not have a background in marketing and marketing efforts tend to fall to the bottom of the list, when you should set aside some time, say every Monday morning to ensure that you are marketing your service and know who is responsible for doing what.

All the ideas here contain different ways to market your business and every week you should take steps to make marketing a priority (especially if you are in need of new clients).

Pictures and Images

  • Keep in touch from ebtihalagrama.wordpress.com
  • Ask for business from cordelblog com
  • Local business by ansleyjblack.com
  • local button by hartlandonline.co.uk
  • Marketing consultant by cahillconsultingpartners.com
  • Social Media interaction by isentia.com
  • Making time to market yourself by agencyaccess.com

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Comments

author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
2nd Jun 2015 (#)

My step daughter uses Facebook to help promote her small business.

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author avatar Bets
3rd Jun 2015 (#)

Been reading this page. Don't want to miss a thing so will digest it slowly. Good work here on your writing. " People may not buy now but they may remember you in the future." Yes, that's so true.
Smiles, BettyJ

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
3rd Jun 2015 (#)

Everyone seems to get so wrapped up in the need to sell NOW that they forget the future and that is as important as right now.

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author avatar Ptrikha
3rd Jun 2015 (#)

Great tips for budding Business.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
3rd Jun 2015 (#)

Keeping our eyes and ears open is crucial and never take the foot off the accelerator is the maxim for continued success - siva

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
3rd Jun 2015 (#)

Good advice as well Siva.

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author avatar RBJBrian
9th Jun 2015 (#)

Very informational article Peter! I would add on too, that another step small businesses can do is to doing the right thing when the chips are down. By that, I mean provide amazing customer service, and when (enevitably), things don't go as planned for a customer, make it right, and make them whole.

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
9th Jun 2015 (#)

Smaller business has to always provide amazing customer service because they are often competing against giant corporations.

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