Attracting customers is one of the top challenges for startup businesses, especially if you do not have any marketing background yourself. However, the principles of marketing are common sense and can get you a long way without excessive expenditure.
1. Know Yourself
Time spent on working out what makes your product or service special (its unique selling proposition) is time well spent because it helps you differentiate yourself from the competition. Clarifying your mission and values will provide you with a framework for positioning your business.
2. Know your Customers
Who is supposed to buy your product or service? Be clear about who you want to sell to. Even if your service or product theoretically could be of interest to almost everybody, pick a customer segment and start marketing to it. Once you have decided on a market segment, it will be easier to decide how to reach potential customers and which channels to focus on.
3. Set a Budget
Making a marketing plan and allocating a fixed budget can help you keep an eye on costs. It is easy to overspend; having a budget will help you focus your mind and your marketing activities. Beware of advertising scams: Unscrupulous fraudsters systematically target new businesses. If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t any good at all. Don’t commit to anything over the telephone, and don’t be shy to say “no thank you”.
4. Care for Contacts
Referrals and word-of-mouth are a fantastic way to get new customers. Think about who you know who could help endorse your business. Ask for testimonials, referrals and recommendations.
5. Be Visible
A website is a must for any new business, but it can be simple and inexpensive. The three most important elements are: Your contact details, a compelling offer and an attractive design. The same applies to any other promotional material such as leaflets, flyers and posters.