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The Basics of Marketing for a Small Business

When we think of marketing for a business, we do not need to scale down our expectations for marketing tools as well. Just because our business is small doesn’t mean we have to think small in marketing. This does not automatically translate into having to spend more. It just means making more use of our resources and being creative too.

Marketing for a business can take on many forms. The traditional media outlets such as radio, print and television are all tried and tested modes. Though reliable, getting ads or commercials out can be quite expensive.

For a start up business, you do want to get noticed right away without having to spend so much. Since you’re still probably paying off financing schemes for your business, you want to be aggressive in earning right away without risking too much in terms of expenses.

Good marketing for a business means making the most of your resources and identifying your target clients. Build a good base locally before you think of spreading out. Online resources are the best for this since they are low cost or even free at times. Social networking sites are perfect since you already have an existing network of contacts. Homemade videos can be made with good quality through free editing software and uploaded on the internet.

Marketing for a small business also takes advantage of word of mouth, which is especially true for local stores. As people spread word of your business around, you get more and more clients coming in who want to give you a shot.

For example, food stalls would often be located in busy streets or buildings because foot traffic will translate to better sales. They market their business through colourful signs as well as nice smelling food. By transforming this basic idea to your own business, you can have a successful strategy.

Marketing and paying off financing schemes

Marketing for a small business can only go as far as letting your business be well known. A good business will always depend on good quality of service in order to sustain your business. When your product is already of high quality and is well known, the marketing for a small business will take care of itself.

Marketing for a business is important as it supports your business in paying off financing schemes. Whether you have opted to take out loans or equipment leasing, a good marketing strategy makes your product well known enough to be sold.

Marketing for a small business is often a cycle, you do need a solid foundation that your business will deliver and a solid and adaptable marketing plan to get your product across. Marketing for a business should translate into higher sales, loyal clientele and better modes to pay off financing, loans or leasing.

Accounting for Marketing Expenses

If you do need to spend for marketing for a small business then do take due consideration of the expenses incurred. Study your accounting and see if you can afford to go for a marketing scheme such as this. List down also the expenses incurred and make sure this is receipted well. This is so you can deduct this as a business expense.

By balancing marketing expenses with good accounting practices, you can be sure to maximize your earnings for your business.

Marketing for a small business is exciting since it makes your product known and drives up sales. Remember though that for marketing for a small business is just the first step, a good product is always the best marketing tool.

5 Ways to Grow Your Business Fast With Technology

A business is like a plant, if it isn’t growing, it’s dying. Business owners today understand the challenges of growing a business. With more and more companies vying for the same piece of market share, expansion can seem like a monumental task that may never happen. This does not have to be the case.

Typical small business process & technology challenges
Marketing, Sales and Customer Service: can’t track or monitor leads and sales opportunities, don’t know what my sales and customer service departments are up to. Communication notes are non-existent. If someone is away, there’s no reference point of the last discussion.

Network Infrastructure: piecemeal network devices from different vendors that work, but performance is slow and unreliable. None or very little remote access capability with manual process requirements.

Decentralized information and document versions: many versions of files, quotes, pricing information, scattered throughout individual computers. Information is emailed back and forth. Keeping track of the accurate document version is confusing. Leading to errors, wrong pricing and customer complaints.

How do you compete and win?
By leveraging technology, you can improve processes, communication, reduce costs and collaborate better with customers, employees and suppliers. Here are 5 ways to grow your business fast by using technology.

1 – Give Your Business an Online and Social Media Presence: today a business simply cannot compete on any type of legitimate level if there is no online presence. If you do not have a website and you’re not using social media, you are missing out on a huge portion of your target market. The vast majority of consumers (more than 80%) head to the internet as their first place to quickly locate information and research businesses. If you don’t already have a website, setting one up should be your first step. A hosting company or a good web development company may be an ideal place to start. Next, leverage free social media tools to help expose your business. LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook are some of the more popular tools. Create an account with your company name such as “http://www.facebook.com/yourbusinessname” and put a link on your website home page. Do the same for other social media and you’ll see how your efforts will generate new business.

2 – Make use of CRM contact management software: CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software can do wonders to improve business, by shining a new light on customer service, and sales opportunities. Track communication, leads, quotes and sales activity all in one software. See phone calls, appointments, tasks and even historical communication notes with each and every contact in your system. CRM software allows customer data to be stored in one area and shared throughout the organization, making it simple and fast to locate information, see customer trends, and make changes as needed to attract new business.

3- Design an Effective Marketing Program: without a strong marketing program in place, business is going to suffer. Proper marketing will not only improve the number of sales, but also the quality of those sales due to a reduction in wasted hours spent chasing poor leads. CRM software can be used to plan and allow for regular follow ups with customers or potential customers. Communication notes and files can further help track customer needs. Combine with email marketing solutions to get the latest news to your audience. Furthermore, much of the sales and marketing processes can be automated, making it easy to stay on top of lead generation.

4- Give Employees Mobile Devices and Remote Access: companies that offer employees teleworking remote access capability get up to 40% more productivity from their staff. If your company has employees that are regularly on the road and/or away from the office, you can drastically improve efficiency by providing mobile devices such as a BlackBerry or iPhone smartphone or tablets with instant live wireless email and calendar synchronization. This will allow for orders to be quickly submitted back to the main office, emails to be sent, and even virtual meetings and collaborations to occur at any time, from anywhere.

5- Follow me & voicemail to email: employees can be more available and responsive even when they’ve stepped away from the office. Calls can be automatically forwarded to a cell phone, home office or remote IP phone allowing the customer a better chance of connecting with the person they want. If the call is missed, a voicemail can be emailed and listen to from a smartphone or desktop computer with email. Ensuring that you never forget to return a call.

Compete with your largest competitors regardless of size, by implementing technology solutions to help your business streamline processes, improve productivity and reduce operational costs.