Do you have a small scale business and want to keep the benefits of it being small scale? There are several reasons that business owners want to have a small scale business. Sometimes it’s just that you are starting out and plan to grow your business into a much larger scale business. Many people want to keep their business small because it gives them more free time to pursue other interests and activities. Also, in today’s market, there are many people who have a full time career but still want to enjoy the challenge of owning a business. Regardless of your reasoning for having a small scale business there are several things you need to consider when creating your specific marketing strategy.
Go for Bigger Margins
As a small scale business you likely won’t have high volume. Simply put, you likely won’t have the time or ability to work with a large number of clients. You most likely won’t sell products in high volume. That’s why it’s so important to make a bigger profit from each sale. When you’re small (and especially if you’re wanting to stay small) you need to charge more for your products and services. Plan on selling less but making more from each sale. You’ll find that raising your prices will often attract better quality customers and will give you a marketing advantage of perceived scarcity for your products or services.
Don’t Slack on the Hours
If you were to graph the typical revenue curve of most small businesses during the startup and growth phases it would not be linear (Fig A) but would more likely be exponential (Fig B). What this means is that you won’t see the benefit if you don’t put in the minimum amount of effort. In a linear model, you could expect that for every hour spent working on your business you’d see a consistent increase in revenue. But that’s rarely the case. Usually you have to put in lots of effort at first, with very little payoff. Eventually that effort will be rewarded. Think of an airplane. Fuel is consumed the fastest during takeoff, not during flight. But once in flight the plane can travel amazing distances very efficiently. You might be a small scale business, but you still need to put in enough hours to grow your business.
The Same Marketing Rules Apply for a Small Scale Business
In most cases you’ll market a small scale business the same as a larger scale business. I’m not talking about mega corporations. There are different rules of marketing for really big business. But small businesses, whether they are small scale or large scale, will generally follow the same rules. This means that you need to have a competitive advantage, you need to identify a target market, and you’ll want to create a strategic marketing message. To learn more about the foundation of a great marketing strategy check out our post The 5 Disciplines of Marketing.
Keep the Pipeline Full
When you’re small scale it’s easy to forget to continually market for new prospects. Often times small scale businesses, especially when the business is intentionally staying small, will be content to be at full capacity. But a loss of a client or a sudden decrease in sales can significantly impact small scale businesses. This is even more critical the smaller you are. A single client might make up a large percentage of revenue for your business. If you haven’t been keeping your potential client pipeline full through constant marketing you’ll be at a loss every time your revenue falls.
Be Small, but Think Big
I had the privilege of meeting a young entrepreneur who was earning over $100K annually in revenue working between 10-20 hours a week on her business. Admittedly she was doing a lot of things right. One thing that she focused on was a mindset to think big. Even when she wasn’t making a ton of revenue at first, she still took her business seriously. She engaged in best practices from day one. She was consistent in her marketing and stayed focused.
You might have a small scale business. Whether your goal is to grow to a larger scale or keep it small, you shouldn’t think small. So much of marketing your business will center around your attitude and your approach. Most marketing isn’t complicated when you have the right mindset and focus.