Ready to press the ‘go’ button on a new business? Not so fast. Here are 7 marketing tips that every entrepreneur should know if you want to be a success.

There are 2.1 million businesses actively trading in Australia, which means you need to get to work if you’re going to stand out. With competitors around every corner, online and, increasingly, overseas, it pays to invest in your marketing.

That doesn’t mean you have to spend big bucks to get results, but you do need to invest time and thought into how your product or service will rise above the rest.

To help, here are 7 marketing tips every entrepreneur should know:

1. Keep focused

Running your own business will mean you need to master a number of different skills. But before you start building your own website, designing flyers and making YouTube videos, think about what’s core to your business and what your strengths are.

Just as you outsource accounting, you can also call on experts for design, creative, copywriting and digital services. Not only will this give you better quality results, but you’ll also be free to focus on what you do best.

2. Never stop networking

When it comes to marketing, networking belongs to the old school repertoire. But that doesn’t mean you should disregard it. This marketing tactic has endured for good reason – it works.

Get out there, meet people and tell them about your business. This is a great way to put a face to your brand (a powerful tactic) while also allowing you to build a community of like-minded people you can draw on for support and advice as you grow your brand.

3. Learn from others

Get a mentor or two. Seek out people who are experienced in your field or a related field of business (networking will help!). Listen to what they say about the marketing mistakes they’ve made and what they’ve learned. It’s far better to learn from the mistakes of others than to learn from your own – there’s less to lose!

4. Build a brand story

Be prepared to tell your story. What drove you to start up your new business? Look to some famously successful start-ups for inspiration, like Carman’s. Remember, you’ll need to communicate your story again and again through a multitude of channels, both online or offline, so it pays to get it right. If you’ve got a deep passion for your business but you just can’t express it in words – ask for help.

5. Listen to customers

Starting a small business isn’t just about having a great product; you need to understand what’s really important to customers. This is the only way to get your marketing message right, and ensure it appeals to the right people. And there are plenty of easy and budget-friendly ways to gain customer feedback.

6. Be prepared to change

Newsflash: You won’t get it right first time. Whether it’s your first promotion or an email campaign, chances are it will take a few attempts before you really hit the mark with consumers. The key is to measure, learn and adapt quickly. Don’t get precious about a letterbox flyer design when the data tells you it isn’t appealing to your audience.

7. Start now

If you’re thinking about starting a business, or have just started, there’s only one “right time” to begin marketing and that’s NOW. Take a tip from hard rock group Rage Against The Machine:

“It has to start somewhere. It has to start sometime. What better place than here, what better time than now.”

Prevarication is the devil when it comes to starting a new business. Prepare yourself for tough times ahead because it won’t be all smooth sailing. But push off in the knowledge that the rewards will be worth it, and hopefully, you’ll see lots of profits.