Building a successful business involves marketing your products and services and even yourself in an effective way. Your marketing budget may not be huge, but far too many businesses are not spending on marketing. How you choose to target new and existing clients depends on many factors. These can include but are not limited to:
- Available marketing budget
- The location of your business
- Demographic of clients
- The services you offer
- What existing marketing channels you use (i.e. social media, website etc.).
As a starting point, one of the most effective ways is to develop a marketing strategy alongside a marketing plan. Your strategy should include ways to track the success of your marketing efforts. This will tell you whether money is being well spent and how much new clients are costing you to acquire. Expect some failures along the way and you will learn how best to market your business. If this isn’t something that you feel confident in doing yourself, you can enlist the help of professionals through freelancing websites.
Start with a Marketing Plan
A marketing plan should include everything from market research; understanding your target market and your position in that market compared to competitors, to how you intend to reach that market. Your plan should delve deep into what materials and advertising strategies you plan to create and how you plan on executing them. Some examples include:
- Social media advertising (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even LinkedIn)
- Printed marketing materials (leaflets, flyers, promotional prints)
- Mail drops or targeted demographic campaigns
- In-house promotional materials such as banner stands and signage.
Your small business marketing budget is an essential component of your marketing plan. It will outline the costs of how you are going to achieve your marketing goals within a specific timeframe and hopefully support you in being effective in gaining new clients.
The Magic Number
How much you spend on marketing is entirely dependent on how much your revenue is and what your budget looks like. However, the old school marketing ‘golden’ rule is that you should be spending roughly 10% of your revenue on marketing efforts.
Depending on your bottom line, this budget could provide you with loads of opportunity or restrict what your options are. Again, how much you spend is entirely specific to your business and what you can afford.
There are different ways to draw in new clients that don’t involve marketing. For example, offering £10 off to a new customer may seem like a lot, however, if 8/10 of these new clients become a returning customer who, when you work out the lifetime value of a client, it’s potentially worth £1,000s to you. Therefore, in the long run, offering the initial £10 discount seems like a comparatively small cost.
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