Small businesses have an uphill battle when it comes to marketing. Each marketing dollar should be squeezed to the maximum. Even though small businesses often have very limited budgets, smart marketing investments can generate impressive growth. Prudent analysis of marketing methods, precise ROI measurements, and planning for successful growth are all critical variables for small business owners.
There are several methods available to small businesses that have a good chance of paying off. A few of them include
- Business card distribution
- Online ads
- Trade show attendance and general networking
- Direct mail, radio, and billboards
These and other marketing avenues may have different ROIs depending on the quality, amount, timing, and duration of each marketing style. Unfortunately there isn’t a set marketing strategy that can work for every small business. A repair shop, furniture store, engineering consultancy and nail salon will have different client profiles, elasticity of demand, and market size.
Marketing methods have to be evaluated for ROI. Focus on a baseline of growth or loss, in some unfortunate cases, and then account for marketing expense and associated growth boost with respect to that baseline on a monthly or quarterly basis.
Let’s say a small business has a successful marketing campaign. Demand for its product shoots up more than expected. The owner and any other decision makers have to quickly line up the following:
- personnel and equipment to meet that demand without putting margin into the negative
- Organized sales and inventory tracking
- Plans to handle customer and employee/contractor complaints
- Fixed investments for substantial “next level” growth that leverages economies of scale
- Strategies for recruiting, compensating, and retaining key talent
Without these in place, a small business can get overwhelmed by unanticipated marketing success. Failure to deliver on the promises made in its marketing campaign, an enterprise may dash customer trust, which may be extremely hard to regain.