Grow Your Small Business Without Advertising

As a small business owner you don’t have a lot of money to spare on advertising, yet marketing is the lifeblood of your business. Instead of wasting money on traditional ads there are many things that you can do to bring in qualified leads without spending a dime.

Here are three things that you can do right now to bring in new customers and grow your small business without wasting a penny on traditional advertising:

1. Build a referral system. Referrals are the most significant source of customers for many small business owners. With a referral system, you give your clients as many different promotion vehicles as possible, bringing in customers from many streams.

2. Use your current network. Using the people that already know, like, and trust you is a great way to generate qualified leads. If you treat your network with respect, showing your top players that you have their best interests in mind, they will return the favor.

Your network will not be built overnight. If you frequently reach out to your circle of influence, showing people that you’re still here to do business, they can’t help but refer you to others. You’ll be the only business that they think about for your particular niche.

3. Lower your attrition rate. Many small business owners forget about their customers once they start buying. we tend to focus on treating our prospects like gold, but put the paying customers on the back burner.

By putting more focus on making your current customers happy and keep treating them the way you got them to buy in the beginning, you can lower your attrition. This means that it will take far fewer new clients to grow your business, because you won’t be filling the empty spots.

Social Media Marketing Strategies for Small Business Social Media Marketing Campaigns

Many consumers have the wrong notion that small businesses don’t have a chance at surviving in the highly competitive business environment of the 21st century. They couldn’t be more wrong, and here are the reasons why. With technological advancements and social media tools that span the globe, there are now many strategies available to small businesses to help them achieve their business goals. One of the available strategies to them is social media marketing. In fact, small businesses can maximize the features of Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social media networking sites to successfully put their business endeavors in the limelight and within the reach of customers from around the world.

Any of these social media platforms have at least 50 million to 350 million users. Each day millions more become members and they come from everywhere on the planet. These platforms are essentially networking sites which make them ideal for small businesses to promote their wares. With social media small businesses can greatly impact the niche and the global market as well. At the same time they can generate potential leads.

Strategies for Social Media Marketing

1. Small businesses must strive for optimization. If the web content is not optimized then the business venture is not making the most of the available social media tools that their competitors as well as large businesses are successfully utilizing. Optimization helps avoid penalties from the major search engines. If optimization is used correctly, site rankings increase and the business venture gains immense rewards in terms of brand awareness.

To be competitive, small businesses have to learn about essential social media marketing strategies. Marketing tools change all the time and so it is also critical to keep abreast of technological innovations. Careful planning and foresight help a business in achieving its goals. It becomes easier for small businesses to expand if they have a significant online presence. There is no easier way to expand the client based of a fledgling enterprise than through social media marketing.

2. These days, the forming of business alliances may also be done on the Web. Expanding the social contacts of the enterprise can be done by cost-effective measures. One method is to build links with websites that are relevant to the business. These alliances, once formed, can boost the popularity and exposure of any new business. Besides, link building is a great way to promote services & products.

3. There are traditional methods of business advertising and there are also boosting the business profile on social networking platforms. To create a bigger impact on the market today, it is important to pay attention to the business profile that website visitors arrive at. If an “About Us” page contains a link with a significant impact then the company can expect a number of new leads. Visitor of the website also appreciate being presented with short, concise, and relevant information about the products & services being offered.

4. Dynamic and responsive websites have numerous advantages over traditional sites. Visitors are drawn to sites that are arresting, attention-grabbing, and interactive. When great content, layout and site SEO are all present and in the right mix, there may be no need to spend money on advertising strategies since the site itself attracts high volumes of traffic already. When the keywords are highly ranked, potential leads will keep coming in.

In Conclusion

There are many social media marketing campaigns available today and it is up to the management to choose which strategies to adopt. No matter how big or small a business venture is the management has to consider the potential advantages of engaging in social media marketing. These approaches can steer the whole company towards the right direction.

First Things for Small Business Event Marketing

In the beginning, we have an idea. The idea is an event where people can come together and trade, grow their network, and live outside of normal routines for just a few hours. The event is birthed and excitement builds quickly. Visions of a crowd smiling are everywhere.

The beginning is a critical time. We are motivated and moved to make something happen. Without question, this is the time to put together a few major pieces that will make the event process move smoothly. If done quickly, it can make the event better or more realistic for the hosts. These items are 1) defining the objective of the event, 2) who is going to make it happen, the decision maker/lead of the event, 3) what is it going to take to be a great event?

The objective of the event is often a large contributor to a few key ingredients. Objective defines what the event is supposed to do. It sets the foundation for the type of event it is to be, and lastly is the main guide towards the theme. Without an objective, the event may not get off the ground, rolling aimlessly towards a date without any real enthusiastic motivation behind it. Objective defines purpose. Purpose creates drive. The theme of the event puts a face to it, an image that will be memorable to prospects.

Who is going to make the event happen? In a small business, it is either a hired event planner/marketer, an internal manager, or the owner. Each one has positives and negatives to lead the event to success. A person who can lead, is organized, creative, people oriented, resilient, and patient is the best person to lead the show. These qualities might not be all in one person, but can be had in a small team. Possibly everyone mentioned before is involved.

The leader of the event will often use a committee or team to get all the work done. A small event can be done with one to three people. A large event could take a platoon of people who like to throw parties.

The person who makes it all happen is a very important part of the event. Without someone to herd cats, be Keeper of the Event Plan, and be Event Therapist, the event might be lackluster. The event may fizzle or explode before the day of the show.

An event planner/manager/marketer is a keystone for a great event. I have seen many small events do well with someone with basic skills. Being able to put details together by using a guide found online is very helpful. It keeps things on track. Time frames and tasks are often laid out together, making things much easier.

The larger the event, the larger the skill set of the decision maker of the event. Experienced event planners and marketers can provide valuable consulting, if not be the main coordinator of the event.

Defining what it is going to take to be a great event is an important answer to get. Three common factors of any event are time, money, and energy. Being able to balance the three and be able to achieve the objective is what makes a great event. (Obviously ‘great’ can be defined in many ways. If the objective is met, no money problems at hand, and no one was hurt, it was a good event.)

There is only so much of any of time, money, and energy. The objective of the event, and the anticipated results of the event, will decide how much of each will occur. In relation to time, asking how long will it take to get everything done and promotions at their maximum appeal is what time is all about. Is this a big event that happens every year? Is this a test run for other events down the road? And other questions help plan when things occur, which is also a function of energy.

The energy required to have a great event is defined by the objective, quantity of staffing for execution, and anticipated size of the event. How much one person can put into any event is limited. Larger events take more people. Simply put, the amount of energy that can be expended is directly related to the budget, or how much money is reasonable to make the event a success.

Small businesses do not have bottomless accounts to throw large parties. An event being funded by small businesses has to see a payoff and be done within a reasonable budget. Spending too much money on staff, not enough on marketing, and more are weighted decisions that guide finding balance in the area of money.

Looking at the objective, the amount of payoff can be calculated. Whether the event is a concert in the park or customer appreciation day at the store, cash flow can be discussed. If the event has a history, budgeting is easier. For a first time event, budgeting is difficult because cash flow can be estimated within ten percent at best. More often the margin error is larger. Expenses are the most determinable line items.

Revenues from the event can be the day of the show only, like a concert. A one time event that generates money from merchandise, concessions, ticket sales and more. One day, and it is time for recovering.

Revenues can be a long term objective related to brand awareness, like customer appreciation days every first Friday of the month. An ongoing event that is proven to attract a percentage of customers over a regular day is a good thing. If I know I can go to Smith Farm Supply and get a burger, I’ll likely stop by, eat, and get the things I need.

When you hatch your idea, take the time to make immediate notes on how the event will occur. These notes will guide you. They will help you understand what you were thinking at the time. Too often have I lost those thoughts because they were not written down.

Taking the time to pay attention to the initial parts of an event being planned will alleviate problems later.

Strategies to Help Your Small Business Succeed in Challenging Times

We have all discovered, again, the only constant is cultural change. Just look around and you will see state and presidential politics on messy display, financial institutions in chaos and Wall Street fluctuating.

This is not the first, nor will it be the last time that we see these ups and downs.

However, you may need different tactics and strategies to help your small business prosper as some small business owners have never been through a downturn.

The most important decision is to determine if you want to stay in business. I know there are lots of talking heads on TV and radio saying it’s time to put your dream on hold that your dream is no longer available, that you may want to consider finding a breadline.

How dare these multimillionaires, sometimes billionaires, tell you how to live your life. They have no experience, for the most part, of how an ordinary person wants to have their American dream.

Strategic Thinking to Help You Prosper:

First, commit to stay in business.

Once the decision is made to either start or stay in business, you will find yourself attracting all sorts of assistance.

Second, determine the niche for your business.

Remember, the smaller the niche, the higher the reward. To say you work with everyone is a misnomer. You may choose to work with left-handed people who live on the East Coast born after 1975. That is specific. You get the idea.

Third, have better and more positive thoughts.

Ignore the pundits who tell you to close your doors, sell your house, eat dog food and hunker down in your bed. That’s if you did not take their advice and sell your bed! Thoughts lead to action; action leads to results and results lead to success. Bad thoughts breed bad results, good thoughts breed good results. It’s that simple.

Fourth, focus on what you want.

Go for the big fish, not the guppies. If you want to make money, find the people with the money. It continues to surprise me that small business owners keep going back to an empty well. If you have tried with prospects and they have not hired you because they either can’t make up their minds, have no money or are unclear, believe them. Move forward.

Fifth, make sure you are going in the right direction.

Do you have a plan for your business? Do you have a business vision? If not, you will never knew if you are on the right path. Decide what you want out of your business. If you want money from your business, how much? If you want your business to allow you freedom, where and when? Be clear about what you want.

Sixth, Market, Market, Market.

Some small businesses and professionals easily fall off the marketing train when times are tough. This is the time for real marketing. What happens is when people are busy making money, they don’t market because they have all the business they want. Then, when there is a slide, they say they can’t afford to market. Well, you can’t afford not to market. You can market your business in numerous cost free or low cost ways.

a) Be personal with new prospects. Attend Chamber of Commerce meetings to get the lay of the land.

b) Partner with someone else. It can be a one-off or a bigger project.

c) Write articles to attract people to your website.

d) Write a book. You can easily write an e-book in less than thirty days.

e) Sign up for LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

f) Hire an expert to provide an overview of your marketing plan.

Seventh, Change Your Attitude.

It’s all in the attitude! If you focus on and spend time with losers, you are one. Loser, that is. If you spend time with successful people, you to are a success, if by nothing else than association. Choose your circle of friends, associates and peers wisely. Remember, you are the sum of people you spend time with.

Put these new strategies in place for at least thirty days and you will see a movement towards prosperity for you and your small business.

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