How do I get the most impact from my website and online presence?
- A website in an important marketing tool for almost every business. In addition, there are a number of digital maketing and social media tools that can be effective in achieving your marketing objectives. For more information on maximizing the impact of your online presence, talk with your local SBDC
How much should I spend on advertising?
- The amount you should spend on advertising will depend on the industry and your type of business. A general rule of thumb is that small business owners should allocate from two to five percent of gross sales but as much as 10 to 15 percent of expected gross sales when launching a new product or service or when competing in the mass market. SBDC consultants are available to help you with industry information, delivery vehicles and planning your advertising budget.
What is the best form of advertising for my business?
- Every business has a “best” method of advertising. Experience is a good teacher, so compare the methods used by your successful competitors with what you plan to do. SBDC consultants can help you evaluate advertising alternatives.
How do I find new customers?
- The first step in finding new customers is to specifically determine your target market. It may be broken down by age, gender, socioeconomic status, geographic region or any number of behaviors or lifestyles. Once a target market is identified, you can determine the best strategy for reaching it.
How do I keep my existing customers?
- The best way to keep customers is to give them quality service at competitive prices. A rule of thumb to keep in mind is the 80/20 rule–80 percent of your business comes from 20 percent of your customers. It is important to focus marketing efforts on those valuable 20 percent. Business owners must have a customer service plan in place and train all employees to maintain an excellent standard of service and strive to always meet customer expectations. The product or service should be the same every time. It is important to remember that doing business with your company should be pleasurable and memorable for the customer. Problems should be taken care of quickly and completely.
Does the SBDC offer classes in marketing?
- Yes. These classes provide useful information on how to market your business using effective and unique strategies designed specifically for small businesses. Learn how to maximize your marketing dollars and enhance your profitability. To find a class in your area or to register for an online class, click on reference.
Does the SBDC conduct market research?
- Yes. The SBDC’s Applied Research Division is available to provide in-depth customized market research for clients on a fee basis. Additionally, the SBDC International Trade Center conducts global business research. Local SBDC consultants regularly assist clients with identifying key information for inclusion in business or marketing plans or for compiling loan documentation.
How do I put together a marketing plan?
- In developing your marketing plan it is important to analyze your current situation to see how you fit into the market. Based on your current target market and target area, it is important that you consider the following factors to include market share, competition, changes in demographics, attitudes, beliefs, norms and advances in technology. It would be useful to conduct a SWOT analysis to in order to ascertain your company\’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. The analysis should provide you with useful information necessary to define marketing goals and objectives leading to the formulation of strategies aimed at meeting these goals and objectives.