I recently met with a frustrated business manager, he was trying to run a business with an owner who had bought the business with his retirement money, but knew nothing about it. They had never sat down and done a business plan, SWOT analysis (Strengths, Opportunities, Weaknesses, Threats), Marketing Plan or anything!
They were randomly spending money on odd ads, with no real plans, no direction and expecting this manager to make the business a success. The old saying is true, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
The following are 6 steps to at least beginning a marketing strategy.
2- Understand your target customer. What age are they? What income range? Gender? Likes, Dislikes? (It is amazing the lists we can get and the demographics we can use to target customers). Why do they want/need your service? What problems are you solving for them? What pain would make them want your product or service.
3- Find out where your customer is and where you can reach them. Are they searching for your service online? Is your location in the right place? Are they homeowners? Renters?
4- Begin to plan how you will reach them. Do they go to trade shows? Then you need to be at trade shows. Are they searching online? Then you need to have a robust web presence and a SEO plan with organic or pay per click search strategy. Do you use Social Media? Can you target them with direct mail? Will you be selling directly to them? Do you need brochures and marketing collateral?
5- Create a budget and target goals, then decide on what you can afford and start with.
6- Find a way to track your success! So that you will know if its not working, find what will work.
I understand if you don’t have a lot of money, but plan to start something! The days are gone that you can just put a sign out in front of your business and start selling and being successful. I once visited a new pizza restaurant that was dead, the owner and manager were just standing around, and they didn’t have a lot of money. I told them, spend a little on door hangers, and when you are slow go visit the homes around you, start making people aware! They didn’t, they closed within 2 months.