STARTING AND RUNNING A BUSINESS with THE COACH in your corner.
A MARKETING PLAN FOR SMALL BUSINESS – PART 2

In Part 1 of this article we defined the term marketing to clarify its purpose for every business, reviewed the need for market research and knowing what sets your small business apart from competition. We also stressed the importance of the image of your business right from start up and how that plays a role in the impression you make with potential customers.

Getting the message out to the marketplace comes with a lot of options and can sometimes be more than just a little overwhelming for a new entrepreneur starting a business. With today’s technology offering highly advanced websites, YouTube, podcasts, facebook, Google Adwords, just to name a few, in addition to traditional advertising like billboards, radio, newspaper, etc. it can be easy to lose focus on what you’re trying to achieve – giving your new business its best opportunity to become established and healthy in the right markets.

Knowing your options and then taking time to think them through will allow you to make decisions that best for your business start-up.

Car, truck and street advertising. Logos and company features painted on your car or truck (particularly if you are in the service or delivery business) helps to educate the neighbourhood that there is a new “lawn service”, “appliance repair shop” or “furniture store” and that their neighbours are using your new business. Have a proper, clean signage design done as a one-time expense and it should last the life of the vehicle and pay for itself many times over.

Another important form of local advertising are bus benches and billboards. They are very effective because usually you pay based on how many people on average see them. If they are within the region of the premises for your business, there’s more likelihood that your message gets in front of potential buyers.

Radio and television advertising in most cities of any size often includes a lot of choice and with today’s satellite, the options are almost endless - but they still have a place in today’s marketing. Every radio or television station should have a breakdown of who listens to, or watches their programming and will share this information with you. They can define their listenership by age, male or female, etc. and help you identify whether their station reaches the market demographics you’re targeting for your small business. If they don’t have your target customer, then it’s not for you.

A few “dont's” to keep in mind:

  1. Never buy your favourite radio station unless you represent your perfect demographic customer.
  2. Never buy what’s necessarily cheap in dollar terms because generally this is a very competitive business and you only get what you pay for. The highest rated news shows or popular shows on a television station usually garner the highest rate for advertising. Everyone is aware of Superbowl advertising costing millions of dollars, it’s of course because billions of people are watching it. You pay for what you get in these advertising mediums.
  3. Don’t buy “3 am time slots” unless your customer is a 3 am night worker or something to that effect.

 

“Buy carefully and buy targeted” should be the approach to media purchasing for any small business, especially when you’re just starting out. One last tip to tie the advertising budget to cash flow: There will be opportunities to have campaigns start without paying up-front and it can be tempting to sign up for a number of advertising campaigns hoping that sales will come quickly to cover the bills when they’re due in a month or two. Stay within the business plan’s budget.

For more information visit www.startingabusinesscoach.com

 

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