Starting a business is simple in theory
Starting a business is simple in theory but it can be very complex in practice. Right from the moment you embark upon setting up your business, you are confronted with a myriad of decisions – what to sell, how to market services or products, where the business will be based and what are the key performance indicators of progress. A business needs a plan and a strategy, it’s a matter of what strategy will work and how to map that strategy out for success.
The Three Most Common Strategies For Business
There are three basic types of marketing strategies that all businesses, big and small use. All marketing plans can be broken down into one or all of these types. They are:
- Online or internet marketing.
- Offline marketing.
- Word of mouth or relationship marketing.
Upon hearing the name of a new business, you are likely to ‘Google’ it’s name to see if it has a website or social media pages. That’s because it’s a natural assumption to think all businesses are online. We tested this theory out by ‘Googling’ the search term ‘how many UK businesses have an online presence’, the results were surprising. The very first headline on page one of the search results reads ‘2 million small businesses in the UK don’t have a website’ (source-www.em360tech.com)
On the same page you will find similar articles from The Telegraph & The Guardian, all advocate the benefits of a website so if you can invest in one (and yes, we know it’s not cheap) and a good website that is optimised for mobile and serves a genuine purpose for your clients-you are already ahead of approximately 2 million UK businesses.
As for those 2 million or so businesses, they will be using free platforms like Facebook and YouTube to supplement their sales and you need to do the same, just better!
Offline marketing refers to the traditional methods of marketing/business strategy such as purchasing advertising space on billboards and print media. This is by far the most expensive strategy but if your clients are to be found through such mediums, you will need to invest in physical ad space. There is some crossover into the online advertising space which is a cheaper and preferred option if you intend to use paid ads on Google, Facebook, Linkedin etc. Another option is sponsored content in online news publications but that doesn’t come cheap, sponsored articles in online newspapers can cost thousands, your budget will dictate your offline strategy so spend wisely.
Word Of Mouth/Relationship Marketing
This strategy depends wholly on your ability to deliver a service that clients will recommend to others. Therefore, it should be part of your strategy to understand who your clients are, what their ‘pain points’ are and how you can help them. Customers want affordability and risk free service, if they get it, they will reward you by becoming your ambassadors and spreading the word about you.
Can’t find clients?
Try offering your friends and family a free service to start things off, combine this with a targeted online campaign to generate leads, use testimonials from your service users to entice and offer small lead magnets as a gesture of good will to potential buyers.
With a little bit of trial and error, you should be able to grow your business using this 3 point strategy.
We help businesses grow from start ups to multi nationals, our accountancy services here in London go far beyond just crunching numbers. Don’t worry if you’re not London based, we cater for businesses all over the world, why not take a look at our Virtual accounts department service?