City : Enterprise Walk : Marketing and Promotion
Once you've started up your business you have to make sure that people know you exist so you can get clients. Here are some ways to build your start-up's reputation.
Most businesses will now have a website to advertise who they are and what they do. Most customers will usually conduct a large part of their research online before deciding on spending their money on a product or service. So an online presence could make a big difference to your business, especially if you are thinking about going after customers who are outside your local area. There are some costs associated with running a website and a free alternative is having a blog.
There are so many different types of social media (eg Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn) there is no way you can do a good job at promoting your business on all of them. The best thing to do would be to pick one that you think is most relevant to your target market and make sure that your presence there is really good.
If you are setting up a local business and your target customers are local then make sure that you advertise where they are going to see it. Think about where your customers might be contacted. Look into how much it will cost to advertise in the local newspapers and ask to put adverts in the local newsagents. Any adverts that you hand out or get printed are a reflection on your business; do they need to look professional, or is it more important they are inviting? No matter what, it’s important to get the basics right – so check the contact details.
Word of Mouth
If you are thinking about setting up a trade business then make sure that you ask kind customers for reviews. There are so many websites offering advice on anything from plumbers to builders that you need to make sure that what people say about you on those websites won’t put future customers off. Also make sure that you talk up your business to friends and family, hand out business cards wherever you can. There are loads of places where you can design and buy business cards online and they will be printed and sent to you. Here are just some of the options: Vistaprint, Instaprint, Moo).
When you start up you can encourage people to give your business a go by offering trial deals and first-time special offers. If they are impressed with the service or the product that you provide you may get a local repeat customer as well as recommendations to other people. It can also be a wise move to offer a special deal for people who refer a friend.