Friday, 2 October 2015

Small Business Marketing: The Devils In The Details

A few days ago I received a "cold" e-mail  on my facebook account from a company offering me a free sample of their wonderful business. This would have been great if it wasn't for the fact that the service they offered was very similar to my own business. They were only a small company and had obviously put a lot of care into writing the e-mail they had sent out, they addressed me by name and mentioned one of my facebook friends who they said have suggested they get in touch with me.The only thing they had forgotten to do was research who they were targeting.A cursory glance at my facebook profile would have told them I was far from their ideal customer.
As with most thing in life but particularly in business its all about the details.I'm not a huge fan of mass e-mails as a marketing tool. Its seems spammy and unfocused. Times are tough for small business (well for all business) and thinking of inexpensive ways to drum up business is a huge challenge but a scattergun approach is unlikely to reap rewards and could alienate people who are already sick of the constant phone calls and leaflets they receive daily from companies they have no interest in.I must admit I groan a little when I see yet another email from someone trying to promote 3d Fibre lash mascara-enough already.
Happy clients lead to more customers
As a small business the one advantage you have over huge companies are the relationships you can forge with clients. Its sounds old fashioned but word of mouth is still the best way to get new customers. If things are particularly quiet set up a few customers incentives, so that referrals are rewarded, this way your customer base are making the approaches on your behalf and will be doing it to people they think would enjoy your service or product.
One of the most vital buttons you can have on your website is "Sign up to my newsletter" This way you get customers who want to hear from you when you ahve some exciting offers to share or new products to promote. If they change their mind they simply unsubscribe.

reward referrals
If you feel your business needs a shot in the arm consider taking part in a Groupon or living social type offer. Yet again the people who receive your details have signed up for this service so are already receptive.
There are many ways to get your brand noticed which don't involve unsolicited e-mails or phone calls. Sponsor an event which you feel will reach your core demographic (whether this is a stall at a local produce show, a roller derby team or a beer festival if you think the kind of people who would like your product will be there, get involved) 

Sponsor an event
Joining forces with other businesses can also be a great way to reach previously untapped customers. If you are a mobile hairdresser hook up with a great make up artist and agree to be "referral buddies" all it takes is carrying a few of each others business cards and you could gain some valuable bookings.
Keep your eyes open for opportunities and you will be amazed at how many ways there are to get your business out there.


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