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How to Market a small business

How to Market a Small Business

Background:
It is very important to have a good marketing strategy when starting a new business. With marketing you can let your potential customers know about your products or services. Marketing will help you determine how much demand is there for your products, and it will also serve as a good tool to match your products with the needs of your customers. But marketing sometimes can be costly and many small business owners might struggle because of the lack in their marketing budget. However, there are some affordable ways for small business owners to market their products. If conducted correctly, simple marketing programs might yield big results with only a small investment.

Objectives:
The main objective of this paper is to help the new business owners to come up with a marketing strategy for their business and to look at the tools and ways available that can help them achieve that. Before creating a marketing strategy, the business owner will need to understand and answer the following questions:
- What makes your company different or more valuable than others?
- What is your customer base? Or who are you trying to target?
- How will you get your message to your customers?
- What are the best and cheapest ways to reach your customers?
- What message will you tell your customers once you reach them?

In the following video, Vera Hughes the co-author of “Setting up a small business”, shares her expertise on the best effective ways to plan a marketing strategy. The video can be found at the following website:

Discussion of the video:
In her video, Vera Hughes says that to start a marketing strategy, a business owner will need to start with the following:
- Let the customers know that the business exists.
- Let the customers or clients know what you can offer.
- Let the customers know how they will benefit from your particular product or service.
Vera Hughes also gives detailed steps on how to market your product in an affordable way. She suggests using mail shots, leaflets and flyers to target a large number of potential customers or a selected few.

Vera Hughes emphasizes the importance of personal contact and networking, especially in the early stages of the business. She also suggests attending local trade shows and exhibitions to find out if they fit your product and to see what the competition is like.

Using websites is considered a very effective way in marketing. Vera Hughes gives some good suggestions about when to setup your website and how to keep it always maintained and up-to-date. She also discusses advertising and she suggests the use of local newspapers, shops and the local yellow pages.

Conclusions:
There are different ways to market your products and services, and with the rise of the internet new marketing methods have been opened. In her video, Vera Hughes discussed the main tools that can be used. These are important ways for a small business with a small budget. She mentioned the use of websites, but in addition to that, business owners can use many free internet tools to market their products. Search engines are an important way to locate businesses and the use of blogs, forums, Facebook and Twitter are only a few examples of the free marketing methods that can be used to promote your business.

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