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Small Business, Big Marketing

Great marketing does not have to cost an arm and a leg. If you’re a small business, it doesn’t matter whether you own a spa salon, are a religious organization, or run a scrapbook business, you have a lot on your plate. Chances are good you need watch expenses carefully and probably don’t have enough resources to hire a marketing firm.

So, here are some basic cost-effective marketing ideas every small business owner should consider:

Create a Marketing Strategy – it is very important to have a written guideline, which specifies the tools and actions necessary for growing your business. To decide on particular strategies it’s important to understand your target audience. Start with setting up your specific goals. It’s imperative to set clear, realistic and measurable targets. Include deadlines for meeting the targets, provide a budget for each activity and appoint the responsible parties. Commit to your goals, stick to action items, and revisit them often. 

Get a website – in this era of internet and mobile, a website is almost a must. Online presence is an important part of business identity.  Your customers need to be able to find you easily and fast. A website can be an inexpensive method of advertising for most business. Even the most basic website can showcase your products and expand your market significantly. If you don’t have a domain yet, by all means get one now. With all the tools available, you can design your own in a heartbeat!

Embrace Social Media – consider using social media as an instrument on your marketing path. It’s all about relationships, so start networking. Go in there with the mindset that everything is an opportunity to build contacts. There are many social websites out there. Begin with only one if it feels overwhelming. We’ve reached a point where the consumers want to know the store owner’s name and that he can be trusted. Thanks to social media, cultivating these relationships is easier than ever before.

Build a Publicity Plan – create a month-by-month plan of publicity opportunities for your business. First make a list of all channels and tools, both traditional and online. Know who is covering what, and when.  Go local, keep it simple, and don’t forget to use social media.

Having a small budget does not mean you can’t have a great marketing plan. In fact, it creates opportunity to try innovative tactics and with careful planning your methods can be highly successful.

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