Nobody wakes up one day and decides to start a business; in fact most of us will have an idea for years before finally taking the first steps to making that dream a reality. With that in mind, the first step to making your business a successful one is to know your market.
After years of working closely with a range of businesses, we have seen first hand the power of good marketing. It is no good to have a fantastic idea, and keep it all to yourself, on the contrary, the businesses who make the most success of themselves are the ones who engage with their target customers.
The power of effective market research knows no bounds, and can provide you not only with relevant feedback, but also an opportunity to engage with the people that matter the most. At the end of the day, your customer is the one that will decide whether you thrive or fail in your business, so putting them first is what will make all the difference.
Implementing A Successful Marketing Strategy From Day One
To avoid unnecessary hurdles, it is good to have a marketing strategy in place from the get-go, this will help you get ahead of the game and can prevent any unnecessary failure early on in the business.
So, where do you start with implementing a great marketing strategy when your business is only in its infancy? We have broken it down into five points, which are easy to follow and can provide the blueprints to your business approach for years to come.
Identify Your Target Customer
Whether you are a freelance artist or a computer engineering company, knowing your customer will help you shape your market research effectively right from the off. Conducting market research will help you determine the types of client you want to be appealing to.
Market research of this kind should be thorough and include everything from age to sex and even nationality, depending on the type of service you offer. You want to ensue that you are focusing your energy on exactly what that demographic will be looking to get out of a service like yours.
Once you have established the type of customer you want to be attracting, the next thing will be to ask yourself, why you? Why would that person come to you for this particular service? It is helpful to be introspective throughout the process, and open to change and criticism.
Identify Your Competition
In today’s society, there are new and thriving businesses popping up every day, and so the chance to bring to the market something completely unique is rare. With that in mind it is important to recognise that you are likely to have some competition, against which you want to be standing up as a worthy option to customers.
Knowing who your competitors are is just as important as knowing who your clientele is, as this will help you define your unique selling point (USP), which any great business should have. Putting yourself forward as something different to what people have seen before will help you become recognisable in an otherwise saturated market.
Identify Your Marketing Goals
Market research is a given for any business owner, but making specific marketing goals is a vital aspect in pushing your business forward at a good pace. We recognise how difficult it can be to get things off the ground, and with every exciting milestone will come a host of difficult decisions, so it can become all too easy to plod along and become complacent in your progress.
Making achievable marketing goals can be a simple but incredibly effective way of keeping you on a scheduled track to business success. Instead of focusing on one thing for too long, keeping to set monthly or annual goals will ensure you keep checking your progress, and will help you recognise when things are going too slowly.
Although it is important to make obtainable marketing goals, don’t be afraid to make amendments as and when it is necessary. Remembering that working to a good pace is important, but it is also imperative that you recognise when a certain area needs more work.
Identify Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Another crucial aspect to successful marketing is knowing where your strengths and weaknesses lie. Failure to recognise when you need extra support could be the straw that breaks the camels back, and so it is good to outline these things at the start.
No man is an island, and so it is perfectly reasonable to admit that there are certain skills that are lacking in your business. This may mean that you have to add on allowance for the hiring of extra staff, but getting this down at the start will help you avoid any time wasting or issues later down the line.
One great way to finding out your strengths and weaknesses is to network with other business people. Places such as coworking offices offer a wealth of knowledge and experience from people who are in the same position as you, as well as plenty who have been there and done it! Shared offices for example at UBCUK in Birchwood, Warrington usually offer free or very affordable networking events, and are also jam-packed with freelancers looking to grab a gig, so you could also benefit from some outsourced skills whilst you’re at it! They also offer Flexi-Friday events where you can work with other local like-minded businesses for the day, free of charge with refreshments. What’s even better is that every event has a speaker who is carefully chosen to help you grow your business!
The main thing to remember is that we all have strengths and weaknesses, and to embrace them is the best way to set you apart from others. What is one businesses weakness may be your strength, and this is something that will help you stand out from competition.
Digital Marketing With Social Media
Whether you embrace technology or not, there is no getting away from the digital age that we are now part of, and learning how to utilise things such as social media can propel your business to new levels.
Platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook can be effective ways for you to connect directly with your customer. In fact statistics show that around 94% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn as part of their marketing strategy, closely followed by Twitter, Facebook and Youtube. Whether you want to share news on your latest product or use it to conduct market research, engaging with your audience has never been easier!
We understand that the technical world of online business can be pretty daunting, especially if you are used to the more traditional way of marketing, pre-internet. That’s why we offer a full social media service for those who are looking for a helping hand in getting those followers engaging with your content.
Need a Hand With your Business? Why Not Get In Touch?
Making your business a success is at the core of what we do at Cheshire Virtual PA. We want to help you make your business everything you dreamed of and more, so by taking care of those smaller things, we give you room to concentrate on the important stuff.
From Business Administration to Home Assistance, or even something as simple as picking up calls, taking important messages and dealing with those day to day time drainers with our Virtual Receptionists service, we have a team of dedicated specialists that can offer remote or on-site support for those times when you just need to take a step back and check your progress.
If you would like to find out more about our services, and see how we can help you get your business off the ground, then why not contact us ? We would love to hear from you!