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WOMEN IN BUSINESS


Small Business Marketing— Bigger Is Not Necessarily Better


W


hen you are marketing your small business, there are many tactics


that you can use to make your company appear not necessarily bigger, but compe- tent and ready and able to do the job. In this economy, competence rather than size is what counts for gaining new clients. Taking a “problem-solving” approach, rather than a “salesy” approach can make the difference between creating long-term clients or buyer remorse. It is important to remember that before you can market ex- ternally to get more clients, you have to have a healthy business environment and be ready to work productively with those clients on the inside of your business. Good business planning beforehand is key to this process. The following are some questions to ask that will enable you to create a successful business image and marketing strategy.


Business Health and Marketing on the Inside


„ What specific business are you in? This may sound like a simple ques- tion, but it is a crucial one to ask in the process of good business planning.


„ What do you need to run your business successfully regarding equipment and facilities?


„ What problem(s) do your products, services, or combination of products and services solve, and for whom? Do you serve business markets, consumer markets, or a combination of markets?


„ Of the markets that you can most viably serve, which of those markets are the most lucrative, or have the best ability to pay? In this economy, it is vital to your survival and success to make sure that you “follow the money” and ensure that your clients have the ability to pay to do business with you.


„ More marketing means more work. What core skill sets do you need to acquire, or whom do you need to add to your workforce, to most effectively


64 PROFESSIONAL WOMAN’S MULTICULTURAL MAGAZINE


serve your best markets? I repeat again, “More marketing means


more work!” What processes that are in- ternal to your business need updating? What training do you or your workforce need to get in order to make these pro- cesses run smoother? „ Do you have a pre-determined budget that provides the proper amount of capital allocation for each item?


„ Do you have access to the capital that you need to sustain and grow your business?


Business Health and Marketing on the Outside


„ Do you know what your talking points about your business should be when communicating to your target mar- kets? When taking a “problem-solv- ing” approach, not only do you have to convince your target markets that you can solve their problems, you have to convince them that you can solve their problems better than anyone else.


„ Do you know where your target markets look for their information? This will tell you what marketing modalities are best for your business.


„ Do you know how much marketing you should buy for your business? Buying too much to the point where you cannot handle all the business is just as bad as buying too little and not having enough business.


„ Is there a way to use public relations activities, such as sponsoring a local sports team or working with a charity in your marketing efforts? If so, then I wholeheartedly recommend that you do so! This will not only help greatly with your marketing efforts, it will also benefit the community in which you live or do business.


„ Are you making effective use of social media opportunities that are available for your business? Social media is inexpensive (except for the cost of


CELEBRATING 11 YEARS OF DIVERSITY


Lynn Sarkany, owner of MarketFinders and founder of Entrepreneurs Professionals


your time) and can serve a very important function in the marketing of your business—it can serve to get word out about your business directly to those persons or businesses that are most interested in your business and how it can solve their problems.


„ Are you converting the exposure that is created by your marketing and advertising efforts into productive business connections and sales? You can have 500+ LinkedIn connections and millions of people on your Facebook page and following you on Twitter, but if this does not lead to personal contact and connection that leads to business, then your marketing is not doing its job. Your diligent follow-up is crucial in this process. I hope that you have found these points


to be thought provoking and helpful in the marketing and planning for your business. Lynn Sarkany is the owner of Market-


Finders, a marketing firm based in Thou- sand Oaks, California serving clients worldwide by creating marketing strategy that works to grow small business. For more information, please go to www.Mar- ketFinders.net. Lynn is also a college pro- fessor, and the founder of Entrepreneurs Professionals, a business development group that is forming chapters and work- ing for the good of small business through- out the United States. For more informa- tion about this organization, please go to www.entrepreneursprofessionals.com


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