Expert Advice & Knowhow

How to promote your business

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Promoting your business is vital if you want people to know about what you do. If you're not sure wh

If you want any chance of making your small business a success, promotion is one step you can’t miss out. After all, how can you expect to gain new customers if no one knows your business even exists?

Promoting your small business doesn’t require a huge budget or hours of groundwork. In fact, effective promotion can be done for free and with a minimal amount of effort – you just need to know where to start.

Make sure you have an online presence

The internet is by far the easiest and most far-reaching platform for promoting your small business. By having a website, people in all four corners of the country and beyond can find out about your products or services, so you’re already reaching a much wider base of potential customers.

But to make the most of online marketing, you need to go a bit further than a basic website. You need to make sure that it is at the very least optimised for search engines, and from there you can include things like email marketing to directly target customers and social media to help spread the word.

Don’t neglect offline too

You’re online – great! But don’t think that means you should neglect the more traditional offline methods of marketing your business. If you’ve got a small budget set aside for promotion, use it to place adverts in publications that your target audience is likely to access. You could also have a go at leafleting, which is actually very effective for some businesses – particularly if you offer some kind of incentive.

Trade shows and fairs are also great for self-promotion, so keep an eye out for exhibition opportunities. They don’t just give you the chance to network with customers and fellow business owners, but also to interact with people face-to-face and really sell your business.

Create a marketing plan

A structured plan will allow you to make marketing part of every day. It’s best to start with some market research so that you can identify your target market and tailor your marketing approach to them. Then, when it comes to creating your plan, you simply need to outline your business goals and objectives, the strategy you’re going to use to reach them, and how you’ll measure your success.

Make sure you’re targeting the right people

Once you’ve researched your market, you should have a clear idea of who your customers are, which in turn will give you an indication of the best marketing channels to target them with. And while it’s a good idea to make sure all bases are covered, it’s important that you target the right people through the right methods of promotion and advertisement. There’s little point in paying for an advert in a publication that your target market doesn’t read, just as there’s nothing to be gained from only marketing online if your customers aren’t internet users (rare, but they do still exist). So make sure that you’ve researched and planned your marketing approach meticulously to give your business the best grounding for success.

For more tips and advice on the things you need to know, check out the Growing your business section of the Biz Hub.