Happy Strategy Saturday!
For this week’s Small Business Strategy Saturday, let’s talk about Marketing: love it or hate it, is the form of communication we as small business owners use to communicate to our customers, contractors, funders, regulators, investors, or a myriad of other stakeholders. There are way too many books and experts out there who can give the whole formal marketing discussion about the 5 C’s, the 4 P’s (or 7 P’s to some), customer acquisition strategy, and on and on. There are plenty of books, websites, tutorials that can teach you all the components of marketing, but I want to take this waaaay back to marketing’s fundamental purpose: communication. Whether we are communicating our value to our customers, communicating our capacity to contractors, or communicating our numbers to our investors, we are marketing our strengths to these different groups. Why not use the powerful behemoth of Facebook with its 1.86 Billion users to help with this?
Let’s look at a REAL business example. A client of mine is a small restaurant owner. This business does pretty well for itself and earns the bulk of its income from both customers coming into the restaurant as well as catering and outside contracts. The owners most recently asked for assistance with expanding specific catering services for larger companies. I started where I always started, with an inventory to see where they were. Well, suffice it to say they were nowhere…they had great reviews on yelp, a few posts of their food on Facebook, but not even links to their catering menu. Since they had very limited – ok, actually $0 – advertising budget, it was time to use Facebook’s force for good. The first thing we did was update their Facebook page to have links to their website WITH downloadable versions of their catering menu. This simple key step was integral to making it easy to buy from them. The second thing we did was to start telling their customers – both their daily walk-in customers as well as local companies found on – you guessed it – Facebook!
The business lesson here is not that you have to use Facebook to market your goods or services or even that you have pay for Facebook’s services. It is about deciding what you want to accomplish (like expand your catering per the example above) and thinking about who you want to target and where they are. With over 70% of Americans on Facebook, chances are pretty good your target customers are there as well.
Even though you may not be a restaurant, where are your customers to ensure you continue to communicate to them? Hit reply, and let me know. If you would like help with your business strategy, check out the ways I work with my clients here: http://ownmba.com/home/smallbusinessassistance/
Cheers to you and your business!