The importance of marketing is not a secret by any stretch of the imagination. It is one of the biggest drivers of industry, and in our largely capitalist world it is arguably a fundamental driver in all aspects of our lives. It is an amazing, ever expanding and evolving practice that challenges each of us to keep on our toes regardless of what end of the exchange we might be on.
With so many different ways in which we market and the incredibly intricate concepts that make up the more successful portfolios, it is surprisingly not well known how equally important decent marketing is regardless of the size or maturity of your business.
It is well known that to start your own business takes much more than the spark of a good idea. Running a successful business requires a lot of dedication and hard work. It takes a great deal of self-assurance and will be unlikely to happen overnight. The common misconception that the best businesses just happened into appearance could not be more wrong.
Any entrepreneur will tell you the amount of planning and funding that must be invested to ensure the smooth transition from pipe dream to reality. Those of us who have considered becoming one of these entrepreneurs ourselves will know all about financial backing, detailed business plans and rigorous organisation that goes into lifting your idea from the ground.
However, many of these inspired individuals are prone to overlooking the fundamental, life blood of any success in the form of marketing. Unless you are fortunate enough to be setting up on the main street of a busy town or you have inherited numerous clients before you start, chances are no one will know who you are or what you are offering – and in comes a marketing strategy.
As business owners, we are all a little unique, it is what sets us apart from our competitors or wows people into engagement. It is likely in our development stage we have settled on a name for our creation, perhaps even developed and selected a logo.
There may have been a time where this level of marketing would be enough to keep you going in the market, but thanks to globalisation, international trade, the internet, and therefore drastic increase in competition, those days are no longer with us. Tried and true methods of basic advertisement such as billboards and ads in a paper may still exist, but they are no longer the most effective or accessible forms of marketing we have at our fingertips. We live in a digital age that has birthed a society so reliant on the internet that we spend a considerable amount of time consuming all forms of online content on a daily basis – including this article.
If you have or are planning to start a new business soon, just know that you would be shooting yourself in the foot if you don’t consider the best ways to utilise social media. As an obvious dominator in the low level marketing world, you don’t need any qualifications or marketing finesse to be able to use these platforms for brand development.
If the business world, particularly the job of running one, is a foreign concept and completely new to you, there are many services to help. These aren’t always simply people who work directly in marketing, they may have an expertise in a number of relevant areas.
If you have the spare change, you might find it infinitely helpful to invest in a provider of leadership coaching or management coaching to help you with your initial setup. You may find that this support is invaluable and see the relationship develop into something more permanent. If these individuals are doing their job correctly you will likely find you are not out of pocket as they are helping you bring in more than their fees above what you would have on your own.
Another option when looking to expand your new business is to invest in a marketing company. The saying, leave it to the professionals, doesn’t come from nowhere. It is a tried and true method of getting the best results.
Let them worry about the more complex aspects of their jobs such as SEO and through-channel marketing. If you let the pro’s take over, they will be able to provide you with a much more comprehensive strategy that results in marketing qualified leads. If, however, your business is small, and intends to remain small, and you don’t see this kind of investment as necessary or appropriate for you situation, there are many ways you can handle your own marketing and successfully promote yourself and what you have to offer.
Some more basic but very effective platforms include social media such as Facebook or Instagram. These platforms promote and link people to your business and are fairly easy to teach yourself to manage. Having a website will also help with this self promotion and can be done relatively cheaply if you have basic computer knowledge under your belt.
As a small business, it is arguably more important that you market yourself well and correctly as this will be your main source of custom. Regardless of whether that business is a small bakery that does deliveries, a travelling make-up artist, or a trades person, you are going to need to let people know that you exist. Chances are, as a small business you have extra competition that is often made up of much larger businesses able to provide similar services for lower price.
This is why rapport and word of mouth are essential in ensuring your small business will thrive. The value of small businesses supporting other small businesses is so often overlooked. The power of a respectable business within your community, big or small, recommending your product or service to its existing customers is invaluable. Often, we market ourselves, our businesses and our interests every day and by mistake.
Just because you are small and perhaps new, you should never underestimate your potential with just a little bit of investment into your marketing.