As a small business owner, there are so many things clamoring for your time and attention. Let’s face it, small business owners are busy. But despite having so many things you need to do to run your business, you still need to keep up on your marketing activities. If you don’t, you’ll soon be out of business. Yet often business owners stop marketing because they are too busy. But you can’t do this if you want to grow your business. You have to keep marketing your business. Here are 3 simple marketing activities that any small business can do to grow their business.
Note: Not all marketing activities will work for every small business. In this article, we will be focusing on those marketing activities that every small business should be doing. It doesn’t matter your size, how long you’ve been in business, or how successful you’ve been, these marketing activities are a must for everyone.
#1 – Focus Your Marketing Efforts
When marketing your small business, you need to be focused. This is such a simple concept, yet it’s one of the biggest mistakes small businesses make. They don’t focus their marketing activities.
The biggest key to focusing your marketing is understanding what not to do, or better put, what to eliminate. There is great power in not trying to do everything. Most people want to do more, not less. We constantly take on more than we should. We want more than we need. And all too often we can’t get ourselves to focus on what’s most important. In marketing, what’s most important is what drives sales. Every business has key activities that will drive sales and improve marketing. Make this your focus and don’t be afraid to abandon some of the less fruitful activities.
Check out Masterful Marketing’s post on Focusing Your Business, for more insight into focusing your marketing.
#2 – Develop Strategic Partnerships
As a small business, one of your best marketing tools is strategic partnerships. Strategic partnerships are when you work with another business to jointly promote each other. An example of a very successful strategic partnership was Redbox and McDonalds. At first no one would think that hamburgers and DVDs have much in common, but what they are actually selling is convenience to the customer. Are there businesses in your local market that would want to partner with you? Absolutely! There always are. It’s just a matter of understanding what you have to offer that would complement another business. The better the complement, the better the partnership. These partnerships work for businesses of all sizes and can be very profitable for both parties.
#3 – Create Your Marketing Map
At The 5 Disciplines of Marketing, we work hard to give marketing tools to dramatically improve your small business marketing. One such tool is a marketing map for your small business. A marketing map is a pathway from your marketing efforts to your sales go. Similar to a strategic plan or the marketing section of your business plan, a marketing map gives your company the specific course of action to take when marketing your business. The major difference is that a marketing map is more detailed and specific to your marketing efforts. Here’s how it works.
Start by determining your marketing goal. This is usually quantified in sales growth, but it could also be listed as new clients or an increase in social traffic, for example. Next list your current marketing activities. For each activity, allocate a percentage of the total goal that activity will contribute.
Example of a marketing map:
|Our Marketing Goal: Increase sales by $100,000|
|Current Marketing Activities||Expected Contribution to Goal||Expected Increase in Sales||On Track|
|New Marketing Strategies||Percentage Needed to Meet Our Goal||Sales Needed to Meet Our Goal||Feasible|
Using a marketing map like the example above lets you know exactly how well you expect each of your marketing activities to perform. You can see if new marketing strategies are feasible and you can better adjust your marketing as needed.
What Other Marketing Activities Would Work for You?
We’ve provided 3 marketing activities that every small business should be doing, but what else might work for your specific business? We’d love to hear what works for you and what doesn’t. Please share your thoughts with us and don’t forget to check out our articles to help you dramatically improve your small business marketing.