As you probably know, marketing is a huge factor in the success of a business. You can have a great product or service, but without marketing to spread the word, it can be difficult to bring in customers, especially if you are just starting out in the industry. Marketing is a way to tell the community what type of business you run; the voice and brand that you want to share with the world. It is also a way to provide incentives to customers and give them a reason to choose your goods or services over your competitors’.
Spread the Word
Get your products and services known to potential customers. Even if you have a pretty loyal following, getting new customers should always be a goal you are striving for. Sending out marketing materials like postcards or ads in local print, or email blasts, are great ways to reach a wide range of customers. Building up your email list is something you need to keep in mind. If you are having a tough time getting people to sign up, offer some kind of incentive, such as 10% off their first purchase.
Build your Reputation
Your reputation is everything. Now that you have your brand and voice out there, focus on living up to that standard. If your products or services have a reputation for being dependable and high-quality, customers will come back for more. Even better, they will tell friends and family and potentially bring you even more business. Go a step further than just offering quality goods, and show that your business as a whole is worth supporting. Participate in community events and sponsorships when able.
Join in on the Friendly Competition
Unless your business is completely unique, most likely there are other stores or businesses offering a similar product or service. Your marketing efforts get you in the game and keep your business top of mind. If a customer is hemming and hawing over whether they want to purchase a product from your store vs. the competition, that promo postcard that pops into their mailbox can be just the push they need to choose your offering over the other guys. Marketing also keeps pricing competitive between the big ticket stores and the smaller, independently owned ones.
Set a Marketing Budget
While marketing is crucial to success, it can also get expensive. Many businesses start out spending almost half their sales on marketing programs. Try mixing up your marketing efforts to include print ads, attending trade shows, email blasts, website development, and more. Check out 3 Inexpensive Marketing Tips for Retail Store Owners for some guidance.
Marketing is one of the most important factors in getting merchandise to fly off of your store shelves. Get your name out there, build up a solid reputation, make competitive offers and always build a marketing budget into your overall business plan.