Chapter 8 – Marketing Your New Small Business
You need sales to get your business started. How will you get clients or customers?
I’m always a fan of getting someone to help you if you can afford it, but don’t go tossing your money at a marketing agency before you do all you can on your own.
Don’t get stumped by waiting until you have a marketing plan to start marketing.
Branding? Think of what people say about you when you’re not around. Yeah, there’s much more to it than this, of course, but for now start there. What do you want people to say about you behind your back? Hone your answer over time to be a concise and complete thought.
Here are some all-purpose strategies you can do without any money, even before you have a real marketing plan.
- Do intense research. There’s an endless amount of topics to research: the customer, the product, the delivery method, and on. Make the customer the focus of your research.
- Chart the customer journey. Make a map of every step your customer or client will take, from the moment they have that need, or pain point, through to your execution of their solution. There’s no such thing here as too much detail.
- Look at your customer journey and continuously think of ways to make the client’s experience easier and better by removing every obstacle — one at a time if that’s what it takes. Smooth out even the slightest rough patch in the client’s journey. Make their experience great no matter what your business.
Don’t get weighed down by thinking you need a complex plan, especially if you’re starting out small.
Just keep in mind that as your business gets its footing, you will need to make both marketing, and a sales plan — that align.
Your online presence is too important to move ahead on without a plan, but hey, I’m a practical guy and I work with people who have, or want, a website and social media before they know how best to use it.
So here’s my advice: if you are working on a project involving others, then discuss the merits of starting a site and social media before you’re officially launched.
If you’re working alone, chances are you can adjust things on the run.
- Build a simple online presence and slowly expand it. Nowadays, even you can make a 2-3 page website with any of the providers’ DIY software. I suggest opening at least one social media account to start. These are tools you will work on every single day. Watch other brands for a while before engaging too many others.
Marketing is lots of trial and error so don’t beat yourself up if you don’t feel you’re “getting it.” Just keep thinking and keep moving. Next time we draw close to launch time.
Part 1 – Launching You, Inc.
Part 2 – Get Direction
Part 3 – Is Your Idea Any Good?
Part 4 – Should I Have Them Sign an NDA
Part 5 – Make a Practical Business Plan
Part 6 – How Do You Know If Your Business Idea Stinks?
Part 7 – Should I Incorporate?
Jason Veduccio, author of The New American Dreamer: How to Land That Ideal Job in a Nightmare Economy is a hard-working entrepreneur following his dreams, and he wants you to dream, too. Drawing on his experiences working with companies on marketing, technology, hiring, and workplace issues, his regular column will demystify the job search process and identify strategies for moving up the corporate ladder. Founder of In1Concepts, Jason also knows the ins and outs of launching a new business. He welcomes your questions and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.