Struggling with how to grow your business? Perhaps you’re not thinking strategically enough. Here are 5 marketing steps you must take if you want to grow and sustain your company.
1. Have a strategic marketing plan
Your business strategy is built on your knowing where you are currently and understanding fully where you want to take the business. Writing and documenting a business plan forces you to put into words all of the great ideas you have and settle on a strategy around those that make sense. Once you have the plan laid out and documented, it is critical that you rigorously execute the plan and measure where the business is relative to the plan and make corrections to the course or to the plan as needed.
2. Always have an adequate budget for marketing
Marketing is one of those items businesses tend to neglect because you seldom see immediate rewards. You needed to budget adequately for marketing and keep up the marketing operations in good as well as bad times. Small business owners should become creative and think about where they can take their business. Think both inside and outside your business sector because that may be where the opportunities really lie.
3. Research and test
Don’t commit large sums to a project or to launching products before doing the proper market research and testing. Ask potential customers what their opinion is because they are the ones who will need to spend money on the products or services you are getting ready to introduce.
4. Build relationships with your customers and with the public
Make sure that people consider you an expert in your field. Get as much publicity as possible through contact with the press and through the web and social media. Thoroughly understand your strengths and weaknesses and build a team accordingly. Make sure that the right people are in the right positions and can help you get to the next level and beyond.
5. Focus and segment
Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Focus on a specific market and get to understand who your favorite customer is and grow your customer base with that in mind. Focusing your marketing efforts along those lines costs less and allows you to be able to bring more force to bear on that segment.