Ten ways to market your business on a shoestring March 1st, 2013
From a Motivating Mum East Hertfordshire networking with speaker event
First of all I am delighted to report that this event, on Thursday 7th February 2013 in Hertford, was able to take place, as the Hertford Theatre and cafe was flooded on the day itself (with a lot of firemen at work and the whole building closed to the public!)
A new venue close by was quickly sought, and those attending were re-directed to it when they arrived for the event. Thank you to everyone for being so supportive of the situation, especially in light of the fact that January’s event, on being motivated and focused for the new year, had to be deferred due to the snow. So this was now the first event of 2013!
With a lovely group of around 15 of us and babies and children, Rob Glover from www.thebestof/local/hertford gave a really useful talk on ten ways to market your business on a shoestring.
Rob is the owner of the Best of Hertford and the Best of Ware, a community and local business hub which includes business recommendations, offers, local events and discussions. He grew up in Hertford and has been running this business since 2010.
HERE IS A SUMMARY OF ROB’S TALK:
TEN WAYS TO MARKET YOUR BUSINESS ON A SHOESTRING
- Acquisition versus retention – consider a balance of time spent on keeping existing clients, as well as continuing to market for new ones. Spending one hour a day or even one hour every few days specifically on proactive marketing activities, could really pay dividends on client loyalty
- Managing social media activity – recommended to try using hootsuite or tweetdeck, free online tools to enable you to plan and send out messages to suit the timings you need (you can schedule messages to go out up to a year in advance!)
- Customer Relationship Management – consider the use of these tools (usually need to pay, but a few are free) One example is In Touch, which costs £10 a month, and provides the ability to effectively email and mail out to your entire database and then be able to track and identify which texts and emails are actually being opened
- Self sabotage – be careful how you manage the messages for your business in what you do, so as not to unintentionally have a negative impact (for example, one external company is using ‘we have old fashioned values combined with modern technology’ as a strapline, this may not be sending out a positive message to customers)
- Call Management Service – may be worth considering paying for a service to answer your calls, who will then screen out sales enquiries and pass on messages to you immediately, so your office landline looks manned and someone is always there to answer personally (this can cost £1 a call)
- Basic artwork – you may be able to do some basic design work for flyers etc yourself, programmes like Gimp are available free of charge and enable you to do design work and save to a file type ready for a printing company to use
- Offer an incentive/guarantee – you could consider the option of offering a guarantee whereby if someone is not absolutely happy then there will receive a discount/extra service/additional time etc. Being mindful of course to control any offers, incentives etc so they are manageable with the time and resources you have available
- Following up – to realise an enquiry or possible interest into a real business possibility you may need to follow up more than 5 times, perhaps taking on a combination of approaches, with social media and more traditional marketing techniques
- Testimonials – these are very important to any business, and even if you get some negative feedback you may be able to change this into positive support by addressing the issue and more than resolving it, after which you may get a testimonial. Perhaps choosing to ask for testimonials from very supportive and regular customers/clients is a good way to approach it
- Referrals – another way to generate new business is to ask for referrals from existing clients / customers. Perhaps offer a gift or incentive if someone introduces their friend or contact to your business. Also consider if the person who has successfully referred may benefit from a special one-off offer too (perhaps a time-limited or seasonal offer)
Rob also spoke about entering local business awards, as completing an application form for a relevant local/regional/sector-specific award can be a very useful way of reviewing how your business is operating and your future plans. As well as excellent marketing and PR if you are shortlisted and/or win an award.
Thank you to Rob for so many top tips based on his experience, which generated lots of discussion and ideas! So much so that we ran out of time, but I am sure it is a topic to cover again in the future, so do watch this space.
NEXT EVENTS FOR THIS GROUP
Next up is the Motivating Mum East Hertfordshire pre-Mother’s Day gift selling / browsing and networking event, which also includes the opportunity to listen to a speaker about her experience of setting up two businesses alongside family life. This is taking place on the 6th March in Bishop’s Stortford, and it is already getting well booked up.
This will be followed by a workshop from HMRC and Wenta on record keeping, HMRC deadlines and business planning, on the 21st March in Ware.
Both of these events need pre-booking and I look forward to welcoming those who are able to attend.
In the meantime, I hope the half term break / juggle has gone well!
This entry was posted on Friday, March 1st, 2013 at 2:51 pm and is filed under - Business Planning, - Business Success, - Get Organised, - Growing a Business, - Marketing your Business, East Hertfordshire, Mums in Business, Work/Life Balance. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.