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Build Your Small Business

Being a small business owner might be part of the American Dream, but promoting your business can sometimes be a nightmare. With small budgets, limited resources and an often narrow scope of business, getting your name out there can be a challenge. Everyone wants to see growth, but how can your company make that happen?

Consider the following 5 marketing strategies to gain clients and promote your business in the community.

  1. Get your name out there. Networking is a huge and fairly inexpensive way to put your business on the map. Creating and using social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter are easy ways to engage with your target audience and get referrals, reviews and recommendations. You can also take things offline by attending local events. If you do any face-to-face networking, be sure to offer a business card or a pen personalized with your contact info to share with people you meet. Promotional products like pens, notebooks and even mints or hand sanitizers are great items to share with prospective clients or customers. A practical item will call your business to mind with every use.

  2. Be a helpful brand. Small businesses are used to dealing with the competition. If you’re looking to stand out, do something to serve the community. Small accounting firms can host a seminar on preparing for tax season. Coffee shops can reserve a seating area that local business professionals can use for their meetings. Any small business could sponsor an organization or champion a good cause. Filling a need or supporting an event will make sure your brand gets noticed. Be sure to include discounts on products or services as well as small brand reminders for the people you’re helping.

  3. Send regular updates. Keep in touch with your current customers. Have them sign up for your newsletter to receive updates on current deals, new products and services or recent happenings in your store, such as a remodel or new employees. Your customers will be more likely to remember you if you’re staying in contact with them. Entice them to stop by your small business again with an exclusive discount or a free gift—imprinted with your logo, of course.

  4. Follow through on promises. Overpromising and underdelivering will affect your business. It’s easy to promise above and beyond your capabilities just to win a sale. But if you’re unable to follow through, your customers will not be loyal. Set realistic expectations and meet or exceed them. On the rare occasion that you are unable to meet a promise, offer some sort of compensation such as a discount or a promotional product that will be useful to your customers and, hopefully, entice them to give you a second chance.

  5. Use giveaways. You can invest as much or as little money in this as you choose. Use loyalty or punch cards to reward customers—think buy 9 items, get 10th free. Giving away your own product or service is sure to encourage repeat business. You could also scale up the giveaway with a contest. Put together an exclusive package featuring your product or service AND some awesome freebies customized with your logo. Travel companies can offer beach towels and sunglasses to the winner of an island getaway. Your small business can also keep things on hand as a thank-you gift for new customers. Banks can offer custom piggy banks to anyone who signs up for a savings account. Customers like to be rewarded for their service, so it is advantageous for your small business to invest in giveaways.

At Staples Promotional Products, we understand how much time, energy and resources small business owners and employees put in to make your dreams come true. Pair these tips with some cost-effective promotional products to keep your business on the road to success.

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