Marketing a new business

Starting a new business? Unless you have run a similar business before, you will need to do some research. Visit your local Business Enterprise Centre and tap into their knowledge and resources firstly, you won’t regret it, most services are fully subsidised. I always say 75% of any new business has to be devoted to business development. Its sales and marketing that attracts clients or customers and make your business a real business. There are obviously some promotional activities which apply to all sorts of businesses but there are also particular activities that are suited to different sectors. For this purpose, I will group most businesses in either retail, business to business and consulting services. Here are a few suggestions: Retailing – Start a simple loyalty program that offers a free gift after a number of purchases – Consider sponsorship of local community activities such as sports clubs – Ensure the customer’s experience is as positive as possible through staff training and education. – Send a story about your business to local media but make sure it has an ‘angle’ and is not just self-promotion Business to business – Join a business or networking organisation relevant to your business – Build awareness of your business with gift items for clients such as desktop accessories that promote your brand – Set up a formal referral program with rewards to clients who bring in new customers Consulting Services – Network through professional associations – Write articles through appropriate media to raise your business profile – Run free seminars related to your business for current and potential clients The above is all offline marketing. Of course, the emergence of social media and the whole online world of doing business can’t be ignored. Having a website will make you put your hand in your pocket most of the time, but social media and other marketing methods are free or very cheap.