business marketingSmall business America, where anything is possible and the sky is the limit.  As an entrepreneur, I really do believe that dreams do come true when you work hard enough with a “no giving up” kind of attitude.  If you own a small business, congratulations to you, I admire anyone who follows their dreams and I wish you much success in your journey.   I’ve had my share of successes and failures with lessons at every turn and have enjoyed every moment of it.   There’s nothing easy about being a small business owner and I’m pretty sure it isn’t for the weak at heart.   I work with and coach a lot of small business owners on how to take their businesses to the next level on many different levels and thought I’d share some of what my clients find most helpful and the most effective in growing their businesses.

The most important thing for any small business is customers, and the way to get customers is with marketing.  The small businesses that make it, make it because they have marketing that drives customers through the doors.  It’s not often you see a business fail that had good marketing and put real effort into getting the word out through various channels.  The business owners I meet with who understand marketing is not optional, but absolutely necessary are thriving while others are closing up shop.  The only real differences being one marketed themselves and one didn’t.

Marketing creates and image, helps to build a brand, build name recognition and top of mind awareness.  Marketing doesn’t always result in an immediate sale, which is why it must be ongoing…never ending…consistent.  Marketing is about being the first name that comes to mind when a need arises or the opportunity for a referral presents itself.  Good marketing results in not being forgotten, because you kept in touch and raised your hand saying “I’m here to serve you when you’re ready to do business with me”.  It lets the public know you are looking for new business, expanding, accepting new customers, growing and that you want their business.  How else are they supposed to know if you don’t tell them?

Serious small businesses are on-line, not only with a website, but socially connected, present and active as well.  Having a website, blog, Facebook page or Twitter account that is active is what works.  Websites need to have blogs as a standard part of their make-up.  Blogs keep people up to date and can be used as a central point for people to visit for updates, promotions, etc.  Blogs keep websites active, current and alive, it’s also crucial for SEO.  Let’s Google know your website is current, active and that you’re still in business.

Make sure your marketing portrays an image of professionalism and commitment to your business.  Your marketing is your first impression, so make sure it’s a good first impression by having quality marketing that’s professionally created and printed.  Nothing says “I’m not really invested in this business” than printed at home business cards or flyers printed on an ink jet printer.  Business owners must plan for the investment (not…expense, but investment) in marketing and it should be budgeted for and accounted for monthly.

The most important ingredient in building a successful marketing campaign is to ALWAYS be building a list from any and all marketing efforts.  Good marketing always includes a “call-to-action”, and that call-to-action should somehow help you build a list of prospects that you can further market to.  Once they correspond with you they become warm leads that can be nurtured towards a sale.  Your list should always include anyone who has ever purchased, the cost of repeat business is a fraction of the cost when compared to a new customer.  A customer list is a gold mine of repeat business when marketed to consistently.

All of the above will drive the customers in, it then becomes your ability to create an excellent customer experience so they keep wanting to come back for more.  Customer service and asking for referrals goes a long way in building a solid customer base and the opportunity for repeat business.

In the spirit of practicing what I preach, I hope you’ll consider PrinterBees the next time you need anything print marketing related.  We can help with printing pretty much anything, and we’d be honored to serve you as one of our small business customers.  It’s our specialty!  You can register for a first time customer coupon right on the site.