What do you need to know before you market your business well? This article aims to give you a general overview of marketing your business. It offers answers to many of the most often asked questions in a simple, easy-to-understand manner. The following are some issues and questions we must address
- What kind of initial promotional material do you need?
- How much time do you need to market your business?
- How much business do you require to survive?
- How much budget do you need for marketing?
- What do you know about your competitors’ businesses?
- Why is it necessary to know your customers?
- Do you need market research? And what is it?
- Why should you be different?
- How do you run your business successfully?
What kind of initial promotional material do you need?
When you start your business, you require some initial promotional materials. Let us not confuse this with the marketing advertising and related promotion of your business. It will strengthen as your business grows.
Initial promotional materials include flyers, a brochure of your company, visiting cards, signage, websites, and uniforms. If you can afford it, you can go for glossy flyers and brochures. As your business grows, your brochure also will have more information, and more pages. These give an initial impression to your potential customers about your business and what your products or services offer them. Based on this information, they will form their opinions, and if their expectations can be matched, they will become your customers. This is the first step of marketing your business.
Make your promotional material interesting, and informative with attractive designs and colours to make your business professional and secure looking.
How much time do you need to market your business?
Any business needs time to market it. To begin, ask yourself what time you can dedicate to promoting and marketing your business. Understand one thing as long as you devote some time to your marketing efforts regularly, you can find new ideas and ways to market your business. It does not matter if you spend some time on a day or weekly basis; it should be continuous and regular. Also, ensure your marketing efforts sessions are well spent without interruptions, distractions, and disturbances so that you can concentrate on your efforts.
It is for you to decide how much and when you should devote your time to marketing. Also, if you are at the office, you won’t get quality time to devote to planning your efforts. While you can implement your strategies and plans in the office, try to plan the same in a place where you won’t get disturbed. So do not neglect your marketing efforts, lest your business will come to naught.
How much business do you require to survive?
When you start a business, you need to know what volume of business you need to survive. You have two reasons to know what amount of business you need: first, to survive, and second, to grow.
First, for starting a business you spend some money, and also to run a business you need to spend money may be daily, or monthly. Once you know this figure, you have an overall picture of how much earning you require monthly and yearly. If you divide this with your expenses or expected expenses, you derive a figure you require for your survival monthly or yearly. In the first instance, you need that much business for survival.
Do not count monthly expenses and earnings as there can be a mismatch, as your business is new. You may spend one month more, another month less, and also your earnings for one month may be more than another month. Therefore, assess your overall position at the end of every year, to know whether you have earned or not.
Second, also, assess your break-even point and how much time or how many years will it take to reach such a point. This gives you an idea about when you can start planning to earn profits to grow your business. Then plan how much profit you want and how much business to grow. All this requires thorough planning, and then you know what amount of business you require.
Third, if you market a lot and if your product or services are strong, you may get a lot of business. So plan how much marketing you should do and also plan what operational changes are required to handle more business.
How much budget do you need for marketing?
How do customers know that you have a good product or service? It is through promotion and advertisement that includes print media, television media, social media, sales promotion, personal selling, and word-of-mouth advertising. And there are many variations of promotions, and any business to survive and grow needs promotion and advertisement, and it is often expensive.
So how much money you should invest in advertising and promotions, and which type of advertising and promotion you should use is the key question for you? The other question is how judiciously you should spend an amount on this function of marketing. Of course, the nature and type of your business is the key for you to deciding what type of advertisement to use, and how much to spend.
Normally 5% to 20% of business turnover is allocated for advertising in the case of an established business. In case your business is new, it is for you to decide how much you can spend on advertising and promotions and what types are suitable for your business. Try making it a fixed cost of your marketing efforts, preferably monthly. That way, you can regularly promote your business.
Another important point for you to remember is any amount spent on marketing and advertising is a waste, if your product or service does not meet the customer’s expectations or needs. So before starting marketing, assess if your product or services meet the expectations of the prospective customers.
Hence, the first step to marketing your business is to make sure it can do what you claim. The next step is to commit to a marketing budget.
What do you know about your competitors’ businesses?
Do you know what products and services your competitors offer? It is essential for you to know such details which can guide your strategy for marketing and compete against them.
Finding information on your competitors is rather straightforward. You can reach out to the company directly, and read their advertisements. Inquire if any of your friends, relatives, or family members used them before and how they felt about the service or the product. Once you know what they provide, you can market your company based on what makes you unique.
And, hopefully, you can offer superior products or services, so that potential clients will buy from you. Therefore, make it a point to learn and know what the competitors offer so you can provide better.
Why is it necessary to know your customers?
You can’t run a business without clients. Your products or services, as well as competitions, help you figure out who your clients are. As a result, you must know your prospects. In an earlier article, we have discussed knowing customers is the magic key to business development.
Market research is an important tool and approach to gathering information. This valuable data can educate you a lot about the types of customers you wish to attract. You’ll learn not only who your customers are but also what they’re genuinely interested in. You may directly target the precise target audience you want to exhibit your products or services.
Do you need market research? And what is it?
Market research is among the most effective marketing strategies available to any company. Asking a few simple questions to potential or present clients is the first step in market research (or both). The responses elicited are then used to plan your company’s marketing efforts. Market research relatively is not expensive, unless you do it on a large scale.
A simple technique to perform market research is to ask people randomly how they heard about your company or if they know your services or products. This tells you if the money you’re spending on marketing is paying off. Hopefully, word-of-mouth recommendations from other satisfied customers make up a sizable amount of your revenue.
When companies perform market research, one of the most common problems is that they disregard the findings if they don’t agree with them. If you’re spending time, money, and effort on market research, be honest about how you’re going to analyse the data and how you’re going to act on them.
Market research should be done on a regular basis, focusing on different parts of your organisation. Use the knowledge thus gathered to better your product or service and plan your company’s future course. Getting to know the feedback, expectations, and demands of your present and potential customers is crucial to your company’s success.
Why should you be different? What is the importance of being different?
What is the importance of being different? Why is it important to stand out from the crowd? Let us take an example. Suppose you want to buy a dress and go to the market where you find a row of cloth showrooms. How do you select a shop for your needs? Do you choose a small shop or a big shop, a well maintained shop, or an aesthetically decorated shop? Will you look for cheap clothes, expensive ones, or branded clothes? Or the one you have visited earlier or the one near you? Subconsciously, we all look to these types of questions whenever we want to shop.
So the question is what makes your business different from your competitors? And why customers should choose your business instead of your competitors? Find convincing answers to these types of questions, then you may realise why your business needs differentiation.
One effective way is to use a simple slogan with catchy words that can differentiate your business. Such words as the best, the highest, the longest, the freshest, guaranteed, the finest, the leading, the right, etc., are often used in slogans or tag lines. As business becomes more and more competitive, it is important to differentiate from your competitors to attract potential customers.
How do you run your business successfully?
Having started your business and started marketing, a time will come for you to grow your business. It takes time to develop many of the skills necessary for running a successful business. It is not necessary to have a background in management skills. But it is better for them to have some knowledge in which they are starting a business or buying a business. In an earlier article, we have discussed business skills. Developing your business skills takes time, but you must develop those skills may be over time.
However, what makes a business successful? And what does a successful business look like? Business success cannot be judged singly. However, many judge it on earnings and profits. This is just one way only. Then what else also makes a business successful? In another earlier article, we discussed what else you need to know to run a successful business.
At the end
The above are a few pointers to consider before you market your business easily. Some of these pointers need a continuous application to improve your business too.