A Cell Phone Company Offers Two Different Monthly Text-Messaging Plans Small Business Marketing Plan – Increase Your Business Profit Without Breaking Your Marketing Budget

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Small Business Marketing Plan – Increase Your Business Profit Without Breaking Your Marketing Budget

Many small business owners fail when it comes to their small business marketing plans. They have acquired excellent technical skills in their work, but that does not translate to having effective marketing skills.

As a result, the profitability of many small businesses has been declining over the years. The ever-increasing competition is becoming more challenging in many ways. For businesses that don’t lose money, most people can’t make a profit if they know how to market themselves properly.

These business owners usually copy what other businesses are doing or follow the advice of some media sales person. The problem is that they copy the wrong types of businesses, and media sales people usually know only as much about effective marketing as the business owner does.

Without the right kind of marketing system, the success of any business is by pure chance. To help remedy this situation, below are seven things a small business can do to increase profits while spending less on marketing.

1. Use the power of free stuff

Everyone loves getting free stuff and you can use it to your advantage. If your business lends itself to giving away free samples of your product, do so. It helps in attracting people. Business profits are booming in this marketing model.

Chris Anderson as the author of the book, “Free: The Future of Radical PriceHe said, “You can make money by giving things away.” In his book, he talks about how businesses are giving away the products and services they charge for, and in return, a percentage of their customers are buying something else. As a result, they’re making more money than ever.

When you give something, you often activate a universal law called the “Law of Reciprocity.” When people get something for free, they feel obligated to do something for you. Obviously it doesn’t work every time, but it works enough of the time.

But there is another way to offer free content that can greatly benefit your business. If you do it right, you’ll get something very valuable in return: customer contact information…which leads us to the next tip.

2. Start capturing customer contact information and use it

One of the biggest mistakes small business owners make is tapping into their existing customer base. They allow customers to visit their business (online or offline) throughout the day without trying to capture their contact information so they can continue to market products or services to them.

You probably know how expensive it is to acquire a new customer. But you can market to your existing customers at little or no cost. Capturing and using customer contact information can mean the difference between a profitable business and one that just gets by.

There is more customer value in your business than a customer can digest in a short visit, so if you’re not constantly marketing to your customers, you’re throwing money away!

You can make customer contact capture easier by using the free energy from tip number one. Start a monthly drawing to give away something free and print some registration slips that visitors can fill out. Register people online on your website.

Tell customers to enter only once for all drawings, and you’ll contact them monthly via email to let them know who won. Of course you always have an offer for a product or service!

what do you give Anything with perceived value makes a great freebie. Free stuff doesn’t have to be expensive. Buy something on sale at WalMart or eBay and offer it. You can also offer free informative reports that help people solve their problems. People keep looking for ways to solve the problems they face.

Of course, once you capture this information you need to do something with it. If you are too busy to take on any task yet, the next tip will help you.

3. Use automated tools to stay in touch with customers

If you have a customer list, I recommend you send it at least 25 “messages” per year. The message can be an email, direct mail piece, fax or phone call.

If you don’t use an automated tool to do the work for you, you’ll be too busy to get the job done. When you automate, your messages go out regardless of how busy you are (the more messages that go out, the busier you are).

One tool you can use is an email autoresponder, which is a web-based system that sends emails when someone signs up. It sends emails at intervals you set up. You can also set it to send an email on a specific day, such as a holiday.

The great thing about an autoresponder tool is that once you enter your messages in the autoresponder, it will automatically send emails to your list. You can also broadcast messages at any time.

By using this tool, it is very easy to stay in touch with your customers and it helps you to block and steal the competition as your customers forget about you and the services you provide.

4. Stop marketing like you’re a big business.

Marketing a small business like a big business is something that almost every small business owner does. They copy the marketing done by big companies with big brands. This type of marketing is called “brand recognition”, “brand building” or “image” marketing.

This is a colossal waste of advertising money for a small business. You don’t have the resources you need to support a successful branding campaign.

Brand ads usually don’t have a “call to action” (they don’t ask you to do anything). They offer you features of a product or service or entertain you without asking you to do anything.

Brand advertising is usually without purpose. It is up to the viewer to decide whether they are worth it or not. It may contain a list of attributes and the user has to assign their own purpose to each attribute. It usually focuses on the product or provider of the product instead of the customer.

A successful marketing campaign for a small business is created around direct response marketing techniques.

5. Use old-fashioned direct response methods in new ways

The type of marketing plan that works for small business is direct response marketing. It does not require a huge marketing budget to use it effectively. It can be used for all types of products and services.

And the good news is that you don’t even need to hire an advertising agency to do it, because it doesn’t require creativity. All you have to do is learn the basic structure of direct response marketing and you can easily increase the sales of your business.

Direct response sales copy always asks the reader or viewer to take some sort of action such as “Call in the next 5 minutes and we’ll include a free set of Ginju steak knives!”.

A full “sales presentation” can be done (one-step advertising) asking for a direct sale or asking them to request more information (two-step advertising). At a minimum, it asks the reader to take some “traceable” action so you know if it worked.

Written advertisements should always have a title! Never place your company logo at the top of a direct response ad. That’s a brand statement.

Whenever you create any form of advertising, look at it from the customer’s perspective. Look at it and say “Who gives a crap?” About everything in it. Do you think the customer cares about your logo? No! They care what you can do for them. Put in the benefits and not the features. Let the customer know what’s in it. A successful direct response ad for a small business includes several elements:

  • An offer to buy something
  • Sufficient information (or directions on how to get more information) for the user to make a decision to take action now
  • A clear “call to action” that isn’t immediate
  • A clear way to respond, such as a telephone number or web page
  • Response tracking tool.

Direct response advertising isn’t just used for mail campaigns. You will use it in all types of media: print, web, mail and broadcast. Take a look at all the advertising you’re currently doing, wherever it is, and start making changes now.

6. Use the Internet to advertise for free

Although websites as we know them have been around since the 90s, only 49%* of small businesses currently have a website *9/08, Barlow Research. It’s surprising how many businesses don’t understand how powerful this marketing tool is. If you don’t have a website, get one because there is no better source than free advertising!

There are hundreds of “Web 2.0” websites on the Internet where you post “content” for free. Content can be text, videos or audios that you create and it drives people to your business. Additionally, it helps establish you as an expert in your field.

EzineArticles.com is a place where you can post content. There is no fee for posting this article. All I have to do is write it, post it, and then you find it.

You can place links in the “Author Resource” section to drive traffic to a page on your website. The articles you post on EzineArticles will rank very well in Google search results with a little help from you.

If you run a local business you may also want to list your business in places like Google Local. Once again it is completely free.

Once you learn how to use the internet for promotion, you can start the future of advertising and you’ll get customers for free!

7. Outsource routine marketing tasks so you can work on growing your business

The biggest problem that small business owners have is that they are so consumed by working on their business that they don’t have time to work on their business. So growth does not happen.

When it comes to marketing yourself on the Internet, there are ways to use “virtual assistants” to do most of the work for you. A virtual assistant is someone you hire to work for you on a full or part-time basis.

But a virtual assistant isn’t a live employee, so you don’t offer benefits or have the usual hassles of an employee. They usually have the cheapest wages anywhere in the world so they are very affordable. That is the beauty of the Internet and the communication it provides.

Virtual assistants aren’t just limited to small business marketing planning tasks. They can do almost anything for you: reservations, schedule appointments, answer phones, customer service, send flowers, buy a gift for your spouse, find someone to fix your car, website development, accounting, software development, writing, graphics or whatever you need.

There are many resources on the internet that can help you find a virtual assistant.

Create your small business marketing plan now!

Use these seven marketing tips to create your small business marketing plan now. If you procrastinate, your busy life will give way to business growth. Even if you take only a little bit of the advice given, you will find that it will have a big impact on the profitability of your business.

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