Many people work for a living for an employer and continue to do so for a while even after they start their own small business. During this time they are effectively working two full-time jobs, so there is only a limited amount of time that can be dedicated to marketing a small business that is just getting up and running.
Of course, the catch is that the faster the business is marketed and gets to the point it is making a profit, the faster the business owner can go from an employee to a full-time business owner.
There are ways to go about marketing a startup business that are relatively inexpensive and also require a limited time commitment. These types of marketing strategies will always be effective, but for the already stretched person trying to balance a job and a startup company, they add value while not taking a lot of time.
Work on a Great Website
Find a website hosting company that offers a great selection of templates and consider doing your own website. If you have the funds, hiring a web designer will be less energy intensive, but if you have a bit of a creative and technical side you can create a wide variety of great websites on your own.
Take the time to review current trends in websites, and provide lots of content rich information, and make sure you understand SEO or use SEO tools provided through Google or other free sites.
For an ecommerce site, you should use a specialized platform for online retails such as BigCommerce, Shopify, Volusion or WooCommerce. If you have more of an informational type of website to sell a service, consider WordPress or any other type of site that is user-friendly and easy to work with.
Always Think about Networking
This may sound basic, but always having well-designed business cards ready to give out when you meet people is a simple marketing tool. This is also an important part of selling yourself, and people do hang on to business cards and share referral information with others.
Often networking can include creating business connections as well. In your own community when you are out and about look at other businesses as potential cross-selling opportunities and don’t be afraid to talk to other businesses about providing references or working together if you are selling different products to the same target audience.
Do Community Events
A simple option for marketing a small business is to get involved in community events and activities under your business name. This will give you free publicity, free marketing of your brand, and allows you to connect with the people in your community.
Anything you want to giveaway or provide as a prize for the event should be branded. You will find a lot of online retailers offering printed giveaway items that are just a few pennies each. Look for items that are somehow related to your business and that are within your budget. Creativity and something unique will make your business stand out.
Recognizing Customers is Key to Marketing a Small Business
Come up with a unique way to recognize your customers on a personal basis. A simple option is to send a thank you in the mail or through email offering a customer free shipping on their next order or a discount the next time they shop online.
These little perks for customers go a long way in word of mouth advertising. If you are using email, you can set up a system that automatically sends the message after the purchase. Make sure to include your contact number, email and the link to the website for easy access.
Small little gestures like these leave customers with a very positive impression of your new business. They will become your loyal customer base and will continue to make referrals to others to shop with you if they have a great first experience.