Competition is the name of the game in business. Companies are spending enormous amounts to continue to fight and struggle for a piece of the turf. It seems it is now clear that management has to be proactive or give way. There is a competitive struggle to share the market between companies in the same industry or others in closely related industries. The internet and slackening economic borders, which have squeezed the world tighter, also seem to have added to this problem. Not only do companies have to contend with competition within their borders but also from outside the borders of their country.
Within this melee, the small business must contend and survive. It has to compete with other small businesses in its environment and industry and also contend with the giant marketing muscles of large corporations. Small businesses might not have the same marketing expertise as large corporations and certainly not the same financial means. However, with proper planning and coordination, a small business can continue to survive, thrive, and remain economically relevant in the business world. Here are seven useful tips to help small businesses carry out their marketing operations successfully.
Learn What’s the Difference Between Marketing and Advertising, and Diversify Your Approach
Most management authorities make the mistake of believing that advertising is the only (or most) important function of marketing. Advertising is a very powerful and useful tool of the marketing system; however, it is not the only tool. It is not enough to pump money into advertising alone and to believe that one has done all that is required in the marketing process. Other marketing activities such as sales, distribution, public relations, promotions, and research are also very important.
Develop Appropriate Objectives and Make Plans on How To Achieve Your Goals
Without a well-defined goal, the business is directionless. The fact that the business is on a small scale does not mean it should not have a focus. Identify appropriate goals which present a bit of a challenge but remain attainable. Draw up a clear plan to achieve these goals. The goals should be specific; instead of choosing an increase in sales as your goal, it is better to set it as an increase in sales by 30%. The specific nature of the goal makes it more appropriate. Long-term goals and shorter-term objectives leading to the goal must be established. Plans should be in stages, and constant evaluation and re-evaluation of marketing tactics and strategies are very important.
Do Not Overspend: Quality Is Better Than Quantity
It is most important that the focus is not the amount spent on marketing operations but the quality and content it is spent on. Outline a strict budget to be spent on marketing which should be reasonably proportional to total profit. Care must be taken to follow this budget and not to spend on a whim. The focus is on getting the best possible result using minimum cost. The use of proper return on investment (ROI) measurement techniques would help monitor the effect of marketing policies so as to determine which is having the most impact.
Create a Niche
This is one of the effective ways to compete with larger corporations. Identify a niche market that has been overlooked by many but which is large enough to be economically viable. Concentrate on this niche, creating products and tailoring your marketing operations tactics towards this sector. Before long, you would be a household name in this sector, and this can be a springboard to launch your business growth. You can also concentrate on a particular region or area. Focus your resources. Look for new ways to render service, package products, or become closer to the consumer – all these are ways to make you unique in the eyes of the customer. Look at what others are offering and add a little extra at the least extra cost to you.
Create a good product
Effective marketing starts from the creation of the right product. The right product is one that delivers satisfaction or utility. If you should be able to convince people that what you have is good and worth their consideration, it helps when you yourself are convinced too. Make sure that you have a good product or that the service you have to offer is up to standard. Do not compromise on quality. A good product is already half sold and can guarantee customer loyalty.
Select the right staff
One should take the time to properly recruit and train all staff or employees in the business. The best of ideas, plans, and strategies would crumble if the right staff to implement them is not there. All members of staff must be trained to work as a team, always projecting an effective image of the business. Well qualified and dedicated staff would help to transform marketing plans and strategies into positive action that would help achieve desired results.