The business environment is very competitive. You may find yourself competing with many other businesses for the same customers. When this occurs, it’s not always the pricing or the products that makes the difference as to who gets the customers. The way a company markets both their products and themselves are keys to having success in business. The more visible your company and product are, the more likely it will be that your customers will think of you before they think of your competition. There is a variety of ways to market your company, some that will cost money and others that are free.
Be active in your local community where your customers reside. When there are charitable events in the area, make sure your company participates and is visible. As an example, if your town has a 5K race, form a team sponsored by your company. Employees participating is an ideal idea, but if that’s not something that is possible, sponsor a team and give them t-shirts with your company’s name on it. Ask if your company’s name or advertisement can be included in a brochure or on signs if you donate money to the cause.
In a time of difficult financial challenges, there may be signs and other forms of outdoor marketing around town that are no longer used, as the businesses that used them have gone out of business. Contact the town or property manager for that location and ask about leasing the space on the signs to post your own marquee advertising an upcoming event or sale your company is having. If there is a public park in your town, there may be gazebos that families rent for picnics, reunions and birthday parties. Speak to the park about sponsoring those gazebos by making a donation to the park. In exchange for the donation, ask for permission to advertise your business on the gazebo fronts.
Marketing isn’t cheap, so don’t forget about your own resources. Keep track of those that make purchases from your own store. Collect information from your customers such as their names, addresses and email addresses. There are companies that will sell you this information, but by collecting it yourself, you will save your company some money. That money which you saved can then be used to offer a discount to your frequent customers. This can be done by offering discounts for printing out an email announcing the sale and bringing it in with them. Another option would be offering an incentive to come into the store such as a customer appreciation lunch or breakfast. Giving away free items or discounts appeal to your customer’s tastes and budget alike when marketing.
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