The intentions of small business owners vary tremendously; some entrepreneurs want to conquer the world, building a global brand, where as others want to run their business in a way that allows their family to live comfortably, while working on something that they love. Whether the aim of your business is global domination in your sector, or to run a lifestyle business, putting your business on the map is essential.
So, what do I mean by putting your business on the map? Whether your target market is local, national or international, the only way you are going to get customers and make profit is by making sure that people know about your business. Here are a few ways to get your business known to your target market:
– Research: Find out about your target market. Find out the age range, gender, and interests of your target market. It can be helpful to draw a profile of your typical customer in order to enable you to focus your marketing activities specifically towards this market; this can be particularly useful if you are not within your target market yourself. The more you know about your customers the more you can think like them and then make sure you tailor your products, and marketing, accordingly.
– Use the Internet: Long gone are the days when a simple magazine advert or television ad would make a mark with potential customers. Consumers are now saturated with advertising. Information overload is a typical occurrence, so more and more people turn to personal recommendations, or website reviews to make product choices.
The Internet can be used in many ways, as many of my readers will know, a website is absolutely imperative. People use Google to search for products on both a local and national scale, if your business isn’t online then you are missing out on the 80% of people who turn to the Internet to find businesses to help them. Use Search Engine Optimisation techniques to help your business website to rank well in the search engines.
Social Media is also a vital way to reach potential customers, both locally and nationally. Networking online is a great way to reach new customers, and can build brand awareness that would otherwise cost a great deal of money. By being yourself in various social media arenas your brand will build up a personality; and people like to buy from people.
– Talk: Talk to your customers, potential customers, inactive customers, competitors, employees… There is no one that you should not be talking to as a small business owner. Talking not only makes people aware of your brand, and give customers the knowledge that you care, but it also helps you to learn exactly what people want and need from your business.
– Customer Service: When talking about putting your business on the map, customer service may seem like an alien thing to mention. However, customer service is vital to ensure that your small business is put on the map for the right reason. People talk to others about their experiences with companies; so make sure your customer service is up to scratch so that when they’re talking about your business they’re doing so for the right reasons!
These are just a few ideas about how to put your business on the map, written with bootstrap businesses in mind. If you have any more ideas leave a comment!