Making it as an entrepreneur is not easy especially in the early phase of your business. You will have to do a lot of very challenging things on your own. You will market your products, meet deadlines, satisfy customers, respond to clients' needs at all times in a cost-efficient manner and meet expectations without undermining quality.
You must, however, focus on those important things that help you make money and turn in profit for your business. In the end, if you are not making a profit, you will have to pack up and go home no matter how you hate to admit that truth.
In all this confusion and time constraints, finding and adopting a cost-effective way to market and make money becomes necessary to all entrepreneurs especially the small ones who are still starting out and trying to find their feet.
Here are some simple ways that startups with a small budget can market their products and services:
NEVER SERVE ONE ALONE
SBG research indicates that the true cost of serving a customer alone is about 10% to 20% of a company's revenue. Every satisfied client has a customer lead potential of one or more additional customer. The more satisfied customers a business has, the more this figure improves and so does the revenue. Most businesses; especially the small and medium ones do not have a referral lead strategy which can be employed on every satisfied customer to generate more revenue and profit.
The true cost of serving a customer alone is about 10% to 20% of a company's revenue
Always satisfy your clients by doing the best job possible. And when this is achieved, ask them to do their friends and family a favor by extending the good news. Even if this comes at the cost of a referral fee, it is still a win win for all.
TELL IT AS YOU DO IT
Any entrepreneur who is interested in maximising opportunities must have an elevator speech prepared and neatly articulated to win clients and attract opportunities. Nothing is as intriguing as a short advert that keeps the imagination awake and hungry for more. Tell people what you do everywhere and every time.
You never can tell who is listening. Even if the person spoken to does not have a problem that the business can solve, you never know who he knows.
MAXIMISE SOCIAL NETWORK OPPORTUNITIES
The world has become a small world. It can be summarised in a little tablet or pc anywhere, anytime. This can afford a startup tremendous opportunity to tell the whole world the problem you can solve from the comfort of anywhere.
Social network maximisation
Social network maximisation begins with creating a good corporate profile and proper business branding on social media. You will also need to find matching contacts and work on your contact quality as well.
No matter how good your corporate branding or personal profiling is, if the contacts you maintain on your social network don't match what you do, the result might not match your expectations.
Keep it real, simple and business-focused. Let all your post and activities reflect what you do and be geared towards generating client lead.
BE A NETWORKAHOLIC
Networking is a business of the rich and creative. It denotes the ability to connect with strangers and turn them into friends and potential clients in the shortest possible time.
Joining profitable organisations, volunteering, going out and taking time to know the person seated close to you are all good opportunities to show people how you can create value for them and create a market for yourself in return. Always seize every opportunity to network and connect to people because in the long run all business transactions are, in reality, a relationship transaction.
BRAND WHAT YOU USE
You can create serious brand awareness and acceptance through proper branding. And this is crucial for business success. This could include consistent brand colours, cards, logos, symbols, etc.
Also, you can go a step further by branding the things you use such as your car, bags and other items which would help announce you even in your absence.
You can also sponsor some community programmes which help project the corporate social responsibility aspect of your business in the community while at the same time announcing what you do.
Customer messaging is very important in marketing. Taking the necessary time to identify who the primary customers of your business are and developing the appropriate business message content for them drives up marketing success. The less effective the messaging is, the less positive the result would also be.
Your content should be developed in a simple but effective manner and targeted at your ideal customers with various inexpensive but creative tactics. This, therefore, demands that the business must develop a customer engagement model that is most appropriate for the market the business is playing in, the available budget and the target market profile.
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT AND COMMERCIALISATION
The business development process of every startup must be revised to portray the vision of the company. The fact that a business is small does not imply that growth potential is also small.
The long term future growth expectation is what every business must include in its marketing campaign to differentiate it from other businesses that render similar services. Proper differentiation of content and context can help startups to create proper market presence.
The mistake many startups make is that their product and service development process focuses on product availability. Little consideration is given to the timeliness of the service or product and the willingness of the customers to pay for such. This is the reason why no less than 50% of all products developed for the market end up failing or becoming a fund sucker.
Every product or service development model must include customer development variable. This is the cost-effective and profitable process of bringing the products to the customers while bringing in money into the business.
As you continue to seek ways to grow your business, finding better and cost-effective ways to market becomes necessary for generating more revenue into your business and serving more clients. Never take it for granted.