Best Small Business Marketing Tip
Here's the best small business marketing tip you'll find anywhere. It's really two tips in one. The first is what to do, and the second is what not to do.
Remember, you're a small business. Everyone in the business knows one another. The boss knows all the capabilities of the employees, and most of your customers know the boss.
Make use of this unique position you have over the larger competitors in the marketplace.
Your small size is really a strength, so don't ignore it. Make it work to your advantage.
Small Business Marketing Tip - what to do
There are three key things to do in the area of marketing.
First, the boss should be the lead when it comes to this area. He or she knows the company best, and customers are generally acquainted with the boss, so that's the person that should lead your marketing program.
Second, the boss should groom others so they begin to build an ability to effectively market. The boss can teach employees things that you just can't learn at a university, and encouraging others to market provides increased challenge and job satisfaction for employees.
The boss should seek out promising individuals in the company that can represent the company's interests. These employees should be good communicators and good listeners. Grooming these individuals will help make the marketing capabilities of the company both deep and broad.
You get depth by having more able-bodied people that can attend conferences, bid meetings and deal with prospective customers. You get breadth because everyone has specific talents, experiences and personal traits that can be made use of when penetrating different sectors of the market.
Third, everybody markets! Think about it. Why wouldn't everyone act as a representative for the company to the extent that they can? Many of your employees come into contact with potential customers and current customers, and you'll want to make use of every interaction to make a positive impression.
Keeping employees aware of what's going on will allow each of them to toot the company horn and deal with customers and prospective customers in a more meaningful manner.
The key to this small business marketing tip is that most of the "everybody" that I'm referring to are the technical and project leads in your company.
Ask yourself: "Who has the passion, the insight, the experience and the enthusiasm for what you're offering in the marketplace?" The answer to that question should help you do one of two things, either identify a marketing person that isn't normally assigned those duties, or identify where you need to help improve some of the skills of your employees.
Consider the following:
- Who better to sell a software program than the lead person who designed and built it?
- Who better to sell the new item on the dinner menu than the chef who created it?
- Will your customers appreciate your assessment of what the brakes need or would it be easier to convince them of the work needed by hearing it from the mechanic?
- If you present a new technology to the marketplace, isn't it more convincing if the inventor is there to discuss the details of the technology?
I understand that not everyone is a natural communicator or "salesman," but perhaps it's because they haven't been trained, coached, or even given an opportunity. Here's a small business idea - train them, coach them, encourage them, and give them an opportunity to represent your company in the marketplace.
Small Business Marketing Tip - don't to this
Here is a mistake that small businesses make - they hire a marketing person too soon to help them promote their products and services. A dedicated marketing person can be helpful, but it's also a huge expense. It's the right thing to do only under certain circumstances.
Here is when a dedicated marketing individual can be helpful:
- After you're well entrenched in a market sector, and you need to free up your time to establish a beachhead in another sector.
- When you're selling a commodity that only needs general representation, not specific technical sales.
- If the marketing person has grown up with the company products and services.
- When you're taking the company to the "next level" and you're no longer a small business.
The focal point of this small business marketing tip is that small businesses are often specialists who can differentiate themselves from the big guys be being lean, fast to respond, flexible, and with easy access to decision makers. That's a great advantage to have. Don't screw it up by trying to imitate the big guys with a dedicated marketing specialist.
Let the big guys send all the marketing representatives they want. You need to send your best technical talent into the marketplace to impress your potential customers with skill and knowledge. That will mean more to the marketplace than an entire platoon of sales representatives.
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