The number of business establishments in the world is too overwhelming to count. I am stating this because I want you to realise the level of competition that is prevalent in this world can be too much to handle for many.
One of the sides of the competitive arena, there is the small business owner, who just has one small, hole-in-the-wall hardware store as his undertaking. The other side has the multi-national chain of hardware stores, spread all across the world with over a thousand stores.
Both of these are dealing with the same kind of consumer good. Thus, they fall in the same line of business. This means that both are each other’s competitors.
If it came down to a battle of survival, who do you think would win?
Who do you think will continue operating without even a slight bump in its operations?
And who do you think could swallow the other one up and then want some more for himself?
Yes, it would be the multi-national chain and there is no denying it. So, should the micro and small businesses cease to exist? Because they are never going to be able to compete with the bigger brands and companies, should stop even trying?
I think not, the business world indeed brutal, but at the same time, it also gives numerous opportunities for growth to whoever seeks it. The hope I am talking about is provided by marketing.
What is Marketing?
Marketing is a tool that any business, despite their size, can use to boost up their sales. This is done through an aggressive approach that will make the customers know that you are a great option when it comes to satiating their needs.
This way, even though you might have fierce and bigger competitors, the consumer will choose you because you have lured him in.
The good thing about marketing techniques is that they can be pretty inexpensive if you want. A business can shell out of thousands of pounds on the marketing its products through TV. However, if it chooses a radio, it can save so much. The audience that listens would be almost the same.
Marketing is the only tool in the business setting that can be manipulated according to the budget and needs of the business. If a businessman does not want to take on loans without a guarantor for promoting his product, he should not have to take one. Marketing can make the budget shrink to what fits the owner’s pocket.
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How does it act as a Saviour to the Small Businesses?
Up until now, marketing has helped uncountable businesses to improve their turnover and turn things around from looking bleak and desolate to lively and prosperous.
Here are two most prominent reasons why;
Offer discounts and other incentives
Even if a consumer has enough money to pay for a product, he would still be more willing to buy the product that is on sale. This is a human tendency; we save as much as we can. So, whenever there is a discount offered by a store, the consumer gets attracted like a moth to fire. For the owner, this means higher sales.
The best enticements for a consumer are signs that say;
- Up to 70% off; now you would have noticed that “up to” often has a minimum font size squeezed into a corner. This is a strategy so that the consumer only sees what you want them to. The “up to” also allows you to get away with a discount of only 10% as well.
- 50% + 49% Off; this, by no means, means that the products would be sold at 99% off. It instead means that on the first 50% the consumer would get an additional 49% off. So, the total discount is 75%. It is a great way to lure the customer in.
- Buy 1 or 2 or 3 to get 1 free; this one is also an exceptional allurement. The consumer comes in with his friend and makes a purchase. He saves a few pounds; you earn more than a few.
All act as a pole of the sales magnet, when the other pole is the consumer. All general stores, clothing, and accessories outlets opt for these to elevate their sales.
Make use of social media
In the present decade, social media has become all the rage. There is hardly anybody left who does not have an active account on either Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat. So, for the business owner, this is a huge opportunity to promote his products, their features, and customer service.
To utilise social media, the business owner needs to do two things.
Make a social media account on all platform;
You must have a prominent online presence so that people know you are out there. Just making an account is not sufficient; you also need to be active on it. You have to keep posting about your products, the best sellers, the discounts, and even consumer reviews. A minimum of five stories every day is mandated.
Capitalise on the social media influencers;
There are thousands of social media influencers, who may have more followers than you. What you need to do is make use of their follower count. Hello, Fresh is a grocery brand, that home delivers food essential to its customers according to its recipes. I know at least two influencers, Sacheu and Michelle Choi, who have promoted it on YouTube and Instagram. Because I am their fan, I tried it too, and now I have a year-long subscription.
Social media can indeed widen your customer base than word of mouth ever would.
Apart from these two, getting the feedback of your customers to know where you lack and consequently improving upon it, then participating in the yearly fairs and carnivals to get your name out there can also help a business in its sales.
The thing of importance in the marketing technique is to retain the customer. That would only happen when your products have impeccable quality. Having a loyal customer base will never put you in a position where the more prominent players may seem as formidable competitors. Your business could give them a run for their money.
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