Every week I hear at least one person who believes that their company is too small to market who they are and what they do. They say: “I don’t have enough customers.” “We aren’t big enough.” “Marketing is for big companies.” Marketing is for companies with more money.” Have you used these excuses? Perhaps your best friend is hiding behind these excuses. If you do not have a marketing plan, you are committing business suicide.
If you do not let people know who you are, what your product or service is, how to get in touch with you, or how to order from you, you will never get the business that you should. I do not care what your website looks like, how you telephone number spells out your name, or what color your business card is. If people do not know that your business exists, they will not be your customers. We all must market our businesses and keep marketing every day.
We can have a long discussion involving the starting of a business and what that entails. Assuming that you were intelligent in the forming of your business, with a business plan, picking a name, having a logo designed, and even having a website designed, next comes your marketing. Otherwise you will sit in your chair and wait for customers to magically find you and for business to fall out the sky. That does not work.
You must get out into the world and market your business. It may begin with telling your neighbors and family that you have started a business and what it is. (If you don’t want those two groups to know what you do, why are you ashamed of your business?) The next step is to tell more people and expand the ring of persons who know about you. The more people who know you, the more people exist who will tell others about you. Maybe you don’t have any customers yet, but you do have prospects, some that you have not even met.
The cheapest, or most frugal, form of marketing is networking. Get out of your initial sphere and tell others who you are and what you do. People do business with people that they know, like, and trust. More important, they will refer customers to those same people. Therefore, go to networking groups and let others get to know you. Meet them afterwards one-on-one and get to know each other better. Get comfortable and establish a networking relationship and try to mutually help each other grow your businesses. Just be yourself and treat each other as human beings, not prospects or potential sources of business.
As you build your network of relationships, you will gain customers and referrals as people get to know you, what you offer, and how you do business. Remember the principles of karma. You will receive back whatever karma you put forth, not directly but you will receive it back. Let your karma be positive and supportive of others, and what you receive back will be the same. As a result, your business will grow and prosper.