Smart Strategies For Small Business Growth

Smart Strategies for Small Business Growth

Many small businesses go through frequent cycles of feast and famine when it comes to customer demand. If you own and operate a small business, you’ll know exactly what that is. If you wonder – it’s mostly down to lack of marketing. In this article, I’m going to give you some smart strategies for small business growth.

Why small businesses struggle.

With family run businesses, this is a particular problem- especially here in Ireland. This week, you struggle to keep up, next week you might be desperately waiting on the phone to ring… Not only can it be a physically demanding, but it’s also a mental and financial struggle. It’s difficult to manage cash-flow with sudden peaks and troughs in demand. And cash-flow is the life blood of any business.

So why do small businesses struggle more than larger? Lack of marketing is one of the key reasons. Marketing is the activity that creates customer demand. That sounds pretty important – doesn’t it?

 smart strategies for small business growth

So, if marketing is so important, why don’t small businesses do more of it?  After all, getting customers is pretty much a key part of running a business.

There are a few reasons, but here are the big ones:

  • Lack of understanding of the need for marketing
  • Lack of marketing skills
  • The owners have the belief that if they are good at their trade and provide good service – the customers will come.

Most small businesses were created by the owner – who is or was the doer of the service. Lets take an electrician or plumber as an example. The owner served their time in their trade. they learned their “tool” skills and at some point, they left their employer and went out on their own. The reason given by many, is that they wanted to make more money.

Where does it all go wrong for them?

It starts with the belief that if they do better work than their competition and provide a better service, or lower price – they’ll get customers. Many truly believe this, and think that marketing is only for big businesses.

They also lack any helpful skills or knowledge about marketing. Many believe that marketing is just advertising. Many will become advertising victims, because they’ll buy advertising space without really knowing what to do with it. Often there will be poor or no returns on their advertising spend, and they’ll blame the marketing for failing and declare it a waste of money.

So what is the answer to this problem?

You should start with some smart strategies for small business growth. Specifically marketing strategies.

At the very least, you need a marketing strategy for getting new customers for the business. Not tactics, but a strategy. That means identifying who your ideal customer is, where they are and how you will attract them.

Another strategy that you should have is a referral strategy. This replaces the random word-of-mouth that you previously relies on.

There should be more – but these two are the bare bone essentials. The strategies will determine what tactics you should use and how much you can and should send to attract a customer.

The very mention of the words marketing strategy is enough to give many small business owners the shakes. Don’t let that be the case for you.

If you’d like more information on creating your smart strategies for small business growth, drop me a line at Adrian@FMBIreland.com

Why me? I’m a small business marketing expert in Ireland. I’m certified consultant within the famous Duct Tape Marketing Network. On top of that, I’ve owned and operated several successful construction businesses for the past 20 years.

Go ahead and contact me to arrange a free, no obligation chat about how you could use a little marketing to help grow your business. Adrian@FMBIreland.com

 

How to create your small business marketing strategy

How to create your small business marketing strategy

In one moment, I’ll tell you how to create your small business marketing strategy. But first, let me ask why you need a marketing strategy in a small business? Isn’t strategy something that only big businesses do?

Well kinda… Or rather, it’s only big businesses that actually talk about strategy. It’s normally something that’s put together at a high level and then forced upon the “little people” further  down the organisation.
But small businesses need a strategy too. Why? Simply because in a small business we have limited marketing resources – both money and time are limited. Without a though-out and written down strategy, we can be tempted to chase every new shiny object that comes along. We’ll hear or read about how the latest new social media is the place to be… Or that someone is getting loads of business with Google. Or the Golden Pages rep calls us up and tells you about the great deal he can do for you….

Without a defined marketing strategy to follow – we can easily become advertising victims!

Creating a marketing strategy may seem like over-kill for your business – but t will help you to attract the type of customers that you want. It helps keep you focused and doing only the type of work that you want. And it will help make you more money – which is the most important…

Now I’m gonna tell you how to create your small business marketing strategy.

There’s three simple steps to follow.
1. Define your ideal client or customer.

This means you need to think about how your best customers have been in the past. Those who were the easiest people to work with. Those who didn’t haggle on price. those who paid on time. Those who referred you to their friends, family and colleagues.
This is the general criteria for an ideal customer.

2. Create a marketing message that will attract the attention of your ideal customer.

This is not about being the cheapest guy around. The whole purpose of creating a marketing strategy is that it automatically makes your business more profitable and less stressful. the alternative is serving customers who are a pain, and working for low prices. I hope this is an incentive for you to do this bit of thinking…
Think about the best customers you’ve had. What was most important to them? What did they value most? What could you say that would appeal to them?

3. Decide how best to get your newly created marketing message in front of your ideal customers.

Part of the process of defining your ideal customer should have got you to think about how your past customers have found you. did they see your advert somewhere? Did they find your website? Were they referred to you? Was it a flyer that got their attention? This is probably something that you haven’t given much thought to before. But doing it now will save you lots of time, money and more importantly, bring you more customers.

Now this is a high level guide on how to create your small business marketing strategy. There is obviously a bit of work to be done to create this and a bit of thinking. the more effort you put in to doing this – the more you will benefit. You’ll attract better customer, more customers and make more money. You’ll also have a business that’s more fun and less stressful.

If you think that this is all a bit daunting or troublesome – fear not. We run a workshop for all our new members on this very subject. The good news is that by the time you leave the workshop, you’ll have your strategy more or less completed.

If you’re interested in learning more, contact Adrian at Adrian@FMBIreland.com or finn out the contact form, and I’ll be happy to help or point you to some free resources that will get you started.

How to create your small business marketing strategy