Small Business Tips

What are the most important marketing tools for a locally owned independent small business?

What are the most important marketing tools for a locally owned independent small business Indie retailers.jpg

It would be very easy for me to rattle off the some new tech contraption, such as the PX92918339282yhn2q9y34 software platform, with a 98393y39 mobile extension app module, an automated 94723432PMFEDDHD starter kit to tack onto a CRM autodialer, with email automation 9w293w49shfs encoders for 100x daily auto blasts, and an anti-spam tech drive. Oh, and don’t forget the 95415ahbsofahsd5465461doansd ad blocking reversal mechanism, which will yield a .00000000000000001 chance any of this nonsense above will get past the 985651616941616161619 bit encryption mumbo jumbo…..

Whew! That was a tongue twister! For a small local business however, there is really only one, time tested, tried and true, secret sauce, numero uno, cream of the crop, top secret key to small business success….. Ready for it??????

YOU! You are the most important marketing tool for your business, and it doesn’t matter how fancy tech tools you waste your money on, none of them will ever be able to do, what you can for your own small business. Large scale businesses are a different story, but if independent small businesses owners don’t market themselves, they will not last. That’s the reality!

What are the most important marketing tools for a locally owned independent small business.jpg

Here are some tips to consider:

Be a Human - Walk down the street in your local community or business district and strike up random conversations with folks in your area. You know, a good old fashioned “face to face” conversation. You never know you are going to meet and you never know who the other person knows. Be open minded and invite a local business owner or community leader to have a cup of coffee, take a client to a baseball game, attend a random networking event, join a meetup group, volunteer at a non-profit event, show up at a chamber breakfast, ask to be invited to your local BNI group meeting, have an open house or a sidewalk sale. At the end of the day, people do business with and refer business to, those people they know, like and trust. Hence, it's imperative you create relationships and engage with everyone you meet. Use your imagination, get creative and come up with some fun, fresh ways of engaging with local residents and other small business owners. The worst that could happen is you make a new friend.

Listen to your Customer - With the prevalence of mobile devices and ubiquity of Internet connections, it has become easier than ever before to conduct direct surveys to existing and potential customers. In fact, small business owners no longer have to rely on local marketing agencies or hand out paper surveys to learn what the customers are thinking or saying. Adhering to the “voice of the customer” is an essential piece of small business success, and a reliable way to avoid major blunders.

What are the most important marketing tools for a locally owned independent small businesses.jpg

Connect with your Customer - Ever since the Industrial Revolution, perhaps even more so during the current digital and technological advancement, the “gap” between the producer and consumer has greatly widened. The once prevalent communal relationship of the local store owner and neighborhood buyer is no longer the same- we never know who made our pillows, backpacks, and even our milk, all of which we bought at large retail stores as Walmart. Furthermore, as we purchase various items via online distributors as Amazon, even the “hello, how-are-you” interactions have disappeared.

The Secret to Success for Main Street Small Businesses

Recent consumer behavior research has shown, however, that there is great value in connecting with the customer at the most personable level. For instance, Starbucks has successfully built their coffee empire in the last decade by requiring their employees to ask for the customer’s name, and write it on the cup. Apple stores allow its clerks to roam freely on the floor, with their phones to function as cashiers, to meet and greet customers individually. All of these efforts are closely related to building a strong and genuine brand by investing in a sustainable relationship with the customers.

Why does this matter? Because small business owners have more flexibility in managing their businesses both comprehensibly and in detail, they can make faster and more accurate decisions to create a personalized and authentic experience for their customers. Rather than competing on price or cost-reducing strategies against the “big firms”, CEOs of small businesses should spend more time thinking about ways to intimately connect their brand with their local and online consumers, open houses, free tours for children, and sponsoring local events and teams could be some viable options. After all, customers want to be treated as people, not as sales numbers.

Nurture Current Customers

Many small business owners are so focused on obtaining new customers, that they often overlook the customers they already have. Focus on maintaining and supporting the customer base you've already acquired as you look for new ones. You can achieve this through helping them to solve problems and becoming their go-to source for information. Establish a relationship with your customers and make every effort to engage with them. You can also offer discounts to your loyal customers to encourage them to continue buying from you. Hiring competent and skilled employees will also be a wise decision, as hiring the wrong personnel can cost you dearly. You should ensure that you always provide quality products or services to ensure that you satisfy your customers. Also, give free offers occasionally and send thank you notes that you have written by yourself. This will give your business a human face that is likely to resonate well with the public.

What are some good tips for scaling a business?

Here comes a curve-ball, so get ready for it. PUT DOWN THE PHONE AND GET OFF THE COMPUTER!!! Facebook and Twitter will survive without you, I promise. Walk down the street in your local community or business district and strike up random conversations with folks in your area. I don't mean set up a Facebook chat, or Instagram thread, I mean a good old fashioned conversation where two people actually talk with each other face to face. You never know you are going to meet and you never know who the other person knows. Be open minded and invite a local business owner or community leader to have a cup of coffee, take a client to a baseball game, attend a random networking event, join a meetup group, volunteer at a non-profit event, show up at a chamber breakfast, ask to be invited to your local BNI group meeting, have an open house or a sidewalk sale. I could ramble on for hours, the ideas and opportunities are endless. We live in a robotic world, where everything and everyone seems to be automated. All things being equal, people do business with and refer business to, those people they know, like and trust. Hence, it's imperative you create relationships and engage with everyone you meet. Break out of your comfort zone and stop hiding behind your computer. Use your imagination, get creative and come up with some fun, fresh ways of engaging with local residents and business owners. The worst that could happen is you make a new friend. Technology is a necessary evil, yet a double edge sword. So get out there and mingle!

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Small businesses can still use technology to make their businesses run efficiently, but those small business owners who prioritize human interaction in their operations will have something no automaton or technology will ever match.

 

How can a locally owned small business generate leads offline?

How can a locally owned small business generate leads offline.jpg

Many small business owners are so focused on obtaining new customers, that they often overlook the customers they already have. Focus on maintaining and supporting the customer base you've already acquired as you look for new ones. You can achieve this through helping them to solve problems and becoming their go-to source for information. Establish a relationship with your customers and make every effort to engage with them. You can also offer discounts to your loyal customers to encourage them to continue buying from you. Hiring competent and skilled employees will also be a wise decision, as hiring the wrong personnel can cost you dearly. You should ensure that you always provide quality products or services to ensure that you satisfy your customers. Also, give free offers occasionally and send thank you notes that you have written by yourself. This will give your business a human face that is likely to resonate well with the public.

Affordable Ways To Fuel Small Business Growth

Here are some other lead generation strategies for a small business:

  • Local small businesses should have different approaches to capture data. One has to obtain the data, which is called data mining. Only then can one prepare a database and then churn it to crack sales. Let us explore some simple ways to generate leads. You can capture data from people who walk-in to your store. Just a phone number or email would be good enough. You can use online inquiries or calls to capture the required data. You can be at local events, circulate fliers or brochures and use newsletter subscription on your website and at the store or office to generate data. Remember, these are not leads but data. And you have to begin with a database to generate leads.
  • One of the most effective lead generation strategies for any small business is a referral program. Employees can be incentivized to refer, customers can be offered rewards to refer and people who aren’t your customers but can refer should be offered some perks so they feel motivated to walk that extra mile. We often think of talking about a product or service with our friends or in our social circles but we forget. Having a few perks will keep people motivated to talk about the small business.
  • Networking is the absolute key to exploring new avenues. Local small businesses find large networking events futile as there is little scope to grow the business into a massive scale. However, cross selling and networking with companies that have some shared interests would always benefit small businesses. A vendor that supplies essential items to businesses in a neighborhood can always tie up with another company or vendor that supplies other items. There can be an exchange of customers, leads or database so to speak.

Lead Generation Strategies for a Small Business

Here’s an article that you may really like: What are tips on building customer loyalty in a local small business?

Hope this help! As always, we’re here to help!

 

What are the best marketing strategies for a business with a small budget?

What are the best marketing strategies for a business with a small budget?

#1. RELATIONSHIPS

#2. RELATIONSHIPS

#3. RELATIONSHIPS

RELATIONSHIPS! There is simply no substitute for relationships with members of the community and other local small business owners. Organic growth is sustainable, marketing campaigns typically are not - not to mention very costly.

With that being said, here are a few simple lead generation strategies for a small business with a small marketing budget:

  • Local small businesses should have different approaches to capture data. One has to obtain the data, which is called data mining. Only then can one prepare a database and then churn it to crack sales. Let us explore some simple ways to generate leads. You can capture data from people who walk-in to your store. Just a phone number or email would be good enough. You can use online inquiries or calls to capture the required data. You can be at local events, circulate fliers or brochures and use newsletter subscription on your website and at the store or office to generate data. Remember, these are not leads but data. And you have to begin with a database to generate leads.
  • One of the most effective lead generation strategies for any small business is a referral program. Employees can be incentivized to refer, customers can be offered rewards to refer and people who aren’t your customers but can refer should be offered some perks so they feel motivated to walk that extra mile. We often think of talking about a product or service with our friends or in our social circles but we forget. Having a few perks will keep people motivated to talk about the small business.
  • Networking is the absolute key to exploring new avenues. Local small businesses find large networking events futile as there is little scope to grow the business into a massive scale. However, cross selling and networking with companies that have some shared interests would always benefit small businesses. A vendor that supplies essential items to businesses in a neighborhood can always tie up with another company or vendor that supplies other items. There can be an exchange of customers, leads or database so to speak.
  • There’s no denying the importance of a strong social presence in today’s marketing world. Your brand absolutely needs to be present on major networking sites like FacebookTwitter and Instagram. B2C interactions have evolved from “you need this” (where the business drives the market) into “but we want this” (where consumers are king). Many purchasing decisions are made before customers ever step foot inside a store. Consumers expect to be heard, to have input and, more recently, to interact with the companies they do business with. Social media provides businesses with the platforms they need to have these interactions and foster more meaningful relationships. As social sites change, grow and multiply, it’s vital for businesses to try their hand at emerging networks. Did anyone believe that Snapchat would skyrocket to popularity the way it did? Most did not. And now it’s believed to be one of the most important up and-coming social marketing tools. What does this mean? The idea of “fringe” sites no longer exists, and instead, businesses need to be willing to try new things and spend time figuring out what new social networks work best for them. A realtor might have a lot of success using Instagram because of the visual elements of his or her job, but that might not hold true for a criminal defense lawyer. Every business matches up differently with various elements of social media, so try things out and find your own recipe for success.

Hope these tips added value to you! If so, I highly suggest you check out the following article: The Secret to Success for Main Street Small Businesses

 

Who does the best small business content marketing?

LVRG Funding Small Business Loans Social Media Post on Quora Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn

When planning your business’s key messages, you likely spend a good amount of time thinking about how to promote your products, services and specials. Informing your potential customers about all you offer might sound like a good plan, but it’s self-serving and should only account for a small portion of the information you share.

Content marketing is a valuable strategy that keeps your brand top of mind with your customers without overselling your business. Your audience can only handle so many posts, emails and other pieces of content that highlight the work you do. When companies continuously beat their own drum, the messages begin to feel like spam and customers are more likely to tune them out or un-follow the business altogether.

With content marketing, businesses begin to share fun, interesting and industry-adjacent information that they think will keep their audience engaged. A real estate agent might share “10 tips and tricks for streamlining your spring cleaning,” or an auto mechanic might post “5 summer road trips you need to take.” One of our recent posts, “What are tips on building customer loyalty in a local small business?” The information might not highlight what your company can do for the customer, but it keeps your brand in front of your audience, making it easier to recall your business at the time of purchase.

So, I cannot say who does the “best” small business content marketing, as it really depends on a number of variables. With that being said, nobody knows your business as well as you do. So, you may know the best person for the job, better than you think…

Hope this helps. For more useful small business tips, check out our knowledge center!

 

What are tips on building customer loyalty in a local small business?

Great question! I suggest the PX92918339282yhn2q9y34 software platform, with a 98393y39 mobile extension app module, an automated 94723432PMFEDDHD starter kit to tack onto a CRM autodialer, with email automation 9w293w49shfs encoders for 20x daily auto blasts and an anti-spam tech drive.

Wait. What??? Clearly I was having a little fun there, as I’m laughing out loud. OK, I have absolutely NO clue what any of that means. But sadly, that seems to be what this world has come to; technology overload. For a small local business however, there is really only one, time tested, tried and true, tip on building customer loyalty. Ready for the secret sauce? Numero uno, cream of the crop, the top, the secret, the key to small business success, the end all be all. Wait for it…………….

What are tips on building customer loyalty in a local small business indie retailers local shops independent businesses small town businesses main street.jpg

RELATIONSHIPS!!! RELATIONSHIPS!!! RELATIONSHIPS!!! RELATIONSHIPS!!! RELATIONSHIPS!!! RELATIONSHIPS!!!

Want to build customer loyalty? Create relationships. There is simply no way around this, especially in today’s day and age. No apps, mobile devices, computers, or fancy technology required.

Here are a few other tips to consider:

Be a Human - Walk down the street in your local community or business district and strike up random conversations with folks in your area. You know, a good old fashioned “face to face” conversation. You never know you are going to meet and you never know who the other person knows. Be open minded and invite a local business owner or community leader to have a cup of coffee, take a client to a baseball game, attend a random networking event, join a meetup group, volunteer at a non-profit event, show up at a chamber breakfast, ask to be invited to your local BNI group meeting, have an open house or a sidewalk sale. At the end of the day, people do business with and refer business to, those people they know, like and trust. Hence, it's imperative you create relationships and engage with everyone you meet. Use your imagination, get creative and come up with some fun, fresh ways of engaging with local residents and other small business owners. The worst that could happen is you make a new friend.

Listen to your Customer - With the prevalence of mobile devices and ubiquity of Internet connections, it has become easier than ever before to conduct direct surveys to existing and potential customers. In fact, small business owners no longer have to rely on local marketing agencies or hand out paper surveys to learn what the customers are thinking or saying. Adhering to the “voice of the customer” is an essential piece of small business success, and a reliable way to avoid major blunders.

Connect with your Customer - Ever since the Industrial Revolution, perhaps even more so during the current digital and technological advancement, the “gap” between the producer and consumer has greatly widened. The once prevalent communal relationship of the local store owner and neighborhood buyer is no longer the same- we never know who made our pillows, backpacks, and even our milk, all of which we bought at large retail stores as Walmart. Furthermore, as we purchase various items via online distributors as Amazon, even the “hello, how-are-you” interactions have disappeared.

What are tips on building customer loyalty in a local small business customer service independent businesses

Recent consumer behavior research has shown, however, that there is great value in connecting with the customer at the most personable level. For instance, Starbucks has successfully built their coffee empire in the last decade by requiring their employees to ask for the customer’s name, and write it on the cup. Apple stores allow its clerks to roam freely on the floor, with their phones to function as cashiers, to meet and greet customers individually. All of these efforts are closely related to building a strong and genuine brand by investing in a sustainable relationship with the customers.

Why does this matter? Because small business owners have more flexibility in managing their businesses both comprehensibly and in detail, they can make faster and more accurate decisions to create a personalized and authentic experience for their customers. Rather than competing on price or cost-reducing strategies against the “big firms”, CEOs of small businesses should spend more time thinking about ways to intimately connect their brand with their local and online consumers, open houses, free tours for children, and sponsoring local events and teams could be some viable options. After all, customers want to be treated as people, not as sales numbers.

Establish Your Brand - First, it’s important to understand that your brand is much more than your logo, merchandising or products. Your brand is about the sum total of the experiences customers have with your business. This includes the visual elements of your business, but it also includes what you do, how you do it, what your customer interactions are like, the type of information you share in your marketing and on social media. All these elements help establish the trust and credibility of your business.

Evolve - Remember that expansion and innovation go hand in hand. Therefore, keep re-branding your company and offering more creative products and services, so that your message is always fresh. The trick is to be consistent in offering quality products, services and solutions to your clients. Stay true to your vision, but never stop evolving.

Creative Marketing Strategies - You will be required to implement effective marketing strategies, as marketing is the cornerstone of any business. This will require you to use the best and the latest technology of the day. Therefore, you should take your business online and engage with your customers on social media. Some of the larger platforms include, include Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and others. As simple as it sounds, a blog and a website will also be a great way to inform clients about your products or services and provide useful information which will position you as an expert in your field. You should also compile an email marketing list and use it to get the word out there about your company, along with the products and services you offer. You may also take the initiative to contribute to local charities and non-profits, perhaps even volunteering or speaking at local events.

Hope these tips were valuable to you. As always, we are here to help!

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The Secret to Success for Main Street Small Businesses

The Fourth Industrial Revolution: Preventing Economic Collapse by Fostering Independent Businesses