5 Ways To Grow Your Business
Do your research!
One of the main components of any business is sales and marketing. This can make or break a business owner for many reasons which I'll explain in this article. Whether you’re already in business or you're thinking of starting a business there are some key things you need to consider before lumping down money on any old marketing opportunity that comes your way. You need to research your market carefully before getting started and here are some questions you need to ask before making a decision.
One of the questions you need to ask is who do we market to? How much can I afford to spend to reach that market? and of course, what type of marketing will give me the best return on my money? Making a profit with marketing can be very tricky and needs to be well thought out. First we need to consider who will be our core market. Now when I say core market I mean who is your main customer. Now you'll need to do your homework once you've determined your market, below are some main things to consider.
> How broad of a market would you like to cover?
> Where do your customers hang out?
> Is your product an impulse buy or a well thought out purchase?
> What other markets may be interested in your products / service?
All these questions are just some of the many you could ask yourself, I'm sure you can think of many more. Once you start answering your questions you are now creating your marketing profile. This profile will help you target who, where, when and how much you will need to market. If money were no option we would all market to the masses and hope for the best building our brands but we all know this is not the case for most of us. Below are some generic and inexpensive ways to market to your core market.
> E-mail marketing - Using a company like campaigner or constant contact you can send thousands of e-mails monthly at costs starting at only $25 / month. If you don't have an e-mail list you can build your own through many niche list builder sites or you can purchase a targeted list for a minimal cost. When it comes to e-mail lists you get what you pay for so stick with the well known companies.
> Phone Calls - I know your probably cringing on this one but your already paying for a phone so you might as well use it. Call, call, call and in turn this can build your e-mail list by asking to send some information via e-mail. This is probably the most inexpensive way to drive people to your business and build a customer list to market to.
> Ask your customers for referrals - When your customer purchases from you give them some extra cards and tell them to tell their friends about your business. If they like your product they will and your business will grow. Always ask for their e-mail address so they can get special promotions and news about your company.
> Direct mail - This one is a bit more expensive but can be very profitable if done in the right way. The main purpose of direct mail is to get people to read the piece, if your mail looks like all the others it will most likely end up in the trash can. I've always preferred post cards because they don't have to be opened and in order for the customer to throw it away they have to look at it first...goal accomplished. What will make this more profitable is if you can catch their attention with an offer they just can't refuse. If you’re a business with repeat customers or you have an opportunity to up sell then you may want to give something away for free. People love free stuff in today's economy so be creative and give something away that is of value to your customers to bring them in the door and just right it off as a cost of marketing.
These are some of the main ideas and by putting some or all these together should boost your sales if you've done your homework. During these challenging times we all need as much information as possible about our potential customers or we have to re-think who our customers are.