Marketing for small business means attracting and retaining customers. It is defined as the process by which a company promotes, sells and distributes a product or service. Through marketing, businesses are able to generate customer interest and then use that interest to generate sales. All businesses, whether big or small, must market themselves effectively in order to grow and prosper.
Marketing is about communicating information key aspects of your business to your customers, including:
Marketing builds on the information obtained during your market research activities. Based on your research, you should have been able to define your target market and have an understanding of their needs and preferences. In addition, you should be aware of competitors, their products, prices and how they reach their customers. This information helps you develop a marketing approach focused specifically on your target market in a way that differentiates you from the competition.
When deciding on the most effective way to market your business, it is often helpful to analyze four key factors that influence the purchase decision. These factors are known as the four P’s of marketing:
These factors can be documented in a marketing plan that can either be its own stand-alone document or incorporated into a larger business plan. Your plan should include a detailed promotional calendar outlining your marketing activities and the costs associated with each activity. Many entrepreneurs starting new business under estimate how much money marketing requires, particularly in the launch phase of the business.
There are many different ways to market your business to your customers. Your promotional methods and message are critical to attracting customers and generating sales. Marketing is an ongoing business activity, and will need to evolve with your business, your customers and the market.