Marketing has an important role in the successes of every business concern and every entrepreneur is looking for a perfect marketing strategy. Eighty percent of startups eventually end up as failures and the only success stories we hear are from the remaining twenty percent. So, here we can discuss some relevant points about startups and together let’s find out how to plan a marketing strategy for small business to prevent any unfortunate circumstances for your business.
Every individual who starts a business is not meant to be a failure, but some of them face such unfortunate events due to the lack of value propositions. Creating meaning means bringing some positive change in the life of the people around you by providing them a better service or product. A positive change can implement a better system than the existing one, or launch a new product which makes the life of the people around you better. When we go through some unsuccessful business attempts around us, the common traits found were their emotional attachment to the product and a marketing strategy that was blindly based on the product without considering other factors in the marketing mix. Every business house, even big corporates spend 80% of their capital on building products or services, but after the completion, there won’t be any budget for other unavoidable expenses like marketing, salaries and other day-to-day activities.
No Perfect Products
In today’s entrepreneurship ecosystem, everyone is trying to be a perfectionist and they all are busy adding additional advanced features to their existing product or service. Remember, that Fortune 500 companies like Apple, Walmart and Amazon, etc. never started out with a perfect product but rather with a perfect marketing strategy and a perfect vision. All great products are not born with all perfect features, but they evolve over time to be the best according to the needs of the customers around the brand. In the initial stages of your business, concentrate more on customer care services than product features and let the customers come back for more purchases. A good customer care strategy will help your customers become brand evangelists for your company and keep your cash flow stable. More evangelists mean more word of mouth publicity and this is the perfect marketing strategy for small business concerns. Launch your business as early as possible with the limited resources available to you, rather than waiting for a perfect time and product. Early launch with available resources will help you study and test the market well and take necessary actions to improve your product in the correct phase. Sometimes an advanced product will not adapt to the current market, so let your product go through the necessary evolutionary process.
Be Flexible With Markets
For the initial level of funding don’t depend on any type of investors like venture capitalists and angel investors, etc. At the same moment, when you get funding from outside, you also start losing your control over the business. Initially, use your own savings or arrange capital from your parents or close relatives, because at this stage you should be more flexible.
Ethical Business Means Always Doing The Right Things.
Doing the right things creates value for the people around you (they can be your customers, investors, employees and vendors etc.). In other words, take all business decisions based on long-term gains. For example, if one of your customers has made a wrong purchase by mistake and they want a refund after realizing it, as a business owner, you can simply deny it. But if you refund the amount, it is a decision that may affect your revenue in the short-term but in the longer run you have earned a customer who now trusts you with his/her money. In reality, most companies start out as ethical ones but they tend to lose focus on ethics as they grow bigger. Make business ethics a part of the company culture and communicate it properly with all the people in your organization. Practically, it is very difficult to keep taking long term decisions ethically. So, always find a balance between ethics and business.
Find Your Purpose
There should be a purpose for each and every company, and even if its only wealth creation, it shouldn’t be looked down upon as a bad one. Although wealth creation cannot be a long-term objective, the one thing that all great companies have in common is a good purpose. Before starting the business, every entrepreneur should dig deeper and find out the purpose of their company. The purpose has to play a greater role in the planning of a marketing strategy. In recent times the attitude of youngsters towards money and life has changed and that is why there are so many social entrepreneurs in our society. These entrepreneurs have a greater purpose and are working very hard to make our world a better place. If your company exists for a greater purpose, it will provide something positive as a return and it may not be just money for the people around it. The team involved in a company lead by a single purpose will be proud one because of the company’s positive contribution to the society.
Figure out your end customers
When we go through the key reasons behind startup failures, we hear about issues like the lack of capital, high employee turnover ratio, problems between partners, high customer acquisition costs etc. But one of the most important reasons could be that the entrepreneurs started a business without figuring out their end customers. In the early stages of the business, you should define your ideal customers and find out and interact with them to know more about your market. Usually, you only hear your own voice and the voice of the people inside your company. Most of the times the people involved in the business may not be your end customers; so find out some real customers and do the math well to know your market size. After getting the real market size, you can calculate the viability of the business properly and create a good marketing strategy by considering the other factors in the marketing mix.
Marketing mix includes the product, price, place, promotion, and people.
What is your offering? Create uniqueness for your product according to the needs of your target market.
What is the value your target customers have to pay for your product or service? Price is an important factor in a perfect marketing strategy and decides this only after considering the purchasing power of your target market, competition, and profitability, etc.
Where your product/services are available? Finding out your perfect market means selling where your target audience is.
Letting know the market, about your product/services. There are many channels and mediums for this purpose like advertising, PR, online marketing, and events, etc. Find out the perfect mediums to communicate your product promise to your target audience. Don’t forget to consider the digital media as one of the communication mediums in your marketing strategy for small business.
An important factor to consider. People mean all of the individuals around the brand. Business without people is not possible and people can be your consumers, employees, and vendors, etc. Define your target market well to know the market size and demand. Choose your employees carefully and give them proper training to take care and build your business.
Make Mistakes And Learn Fast
After passing multiple stages, when customers don’t buy into your product, entrepreneurs start thinking about all these questions. A lot of the times, entrepreneurs may get caught up by their own ideas, so don’t forget to draw a line between confidence and overconfidence. Learning from your mistakes, or correcting your course when the first alarm bells go off is also very important.
Change your marketing strategy if you find something wrong with it without consuming much time. Don’t be the overconfident entrepreneur who is too proud to admit his mistake and take corrective action. We hope this article helps you find your businesses’ real purpose and create a great marketing strategy for it.
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