While companies of all sizes are sweating bullets right about now, the stress experienced by small businesses is particularly unenviable. Lacking the same resources and support enjoyed by their larger counterparts, their long-term survival seems all the more questionable.
By way of offering some measure of reassurance, Skye Communication—a Wolcott, Conn.-based PR and marketing firm—offers these five marketing tips for small business owners navigating a shaky economy:
1. Revamp your Web presence. From top to bottom, it's time to give your site a makeover. Change up the colors, fonts, and design. Add white space and remove clutter. Update your text as needed, and don't be stingy with visual elements.
2. If you aren't already doing so, it's time to start sending out e-newsletters to your customers, business associates, friends, and family. Your inaugural effort should promote the relaunch of your Website (see number one), as well as promote any new products and services you're offering. Be aggressive about adding e-mail addresses of contacts into your e-newsletter list. Lastly, offer general interest information that encourages your readers to forward on your e-newsletter to others.
3. Take advantage of your local media. Compose and send out your own press release to the daily papers, and if budgetary constraints allow, advertise with them. Ditto for local radio stations. If applicable, create a program for your local public access TV station.
4. Get your name out there. Connect with other professionals in your area and industry, whether through trade organizations, networking groups, chambers of commerce, independent business owner groups, social networking groups, or some combination thereof. You can't put a price tag on the networking and morale-boosting benefits to be gained.
5. Customer service is more crucial now than ever before. Accordingly, be forthcoming with deals, special rates, and tailored packages to your clients, and don't be shy about recommending them to other professionals within your network.
For more on marketing strategies, read "Hey Numbers Cruncher: Generating Analytic Value."
Source: Sales & Marketing Management