(816) 468-4989

SBA Award Winning Certified Development Corporation

Marketing Miracles Are Possible
For Small Businesses – Including Yours!

Don't get a headache trying to grow your busness. Just get creative!

A lot of new business owners know they have a good idea, a great location and more. They just can’t get enough people in the door!

A proven solution can involve marketing and public relations. But if you’re like most small business owners, you don’t have a lot of extra money so you don’t want to spend it on advertising.

A fad from several years ago still represents promise: Guerilla marketing.

Save Your Money

Based on largely low-cost or even free techniques (free but for your time), Guerilla marketing replaces advertising budgets with surprise, excitement and creativity. The word creativity is probably the most important.

Creativity can take many forms, especially in today’s environment with multiple social media outlets. But effective creativity usually starts with an idea that has “legs” – has the ability to go somewhere and grab the interest of customers and potential customers.

It can be hard to tell the difference. As soon as you try to categorize concepts, someone will come along with an exception that proves you wrong.

But there are some good general rules:

• Does your idea interest anyone but you. Sure, it’s your business and anything involving it sounds good, but will the residents across town really care? The local newspaper editor or radio new director? They’re part of your audience, and you need to seriously and honestly assess whether they will care…and care enough to act.

• Is success going to be affordable? You must try to imagine everything you’ll need and all of the costs you could entail. There’s no use planning a “circus of savings” promotion if the elephant you dream of using costs more than your annual income. Okay, that might be an exaggerated example, but a lot of ideas sound great until you seriously examine the costs.

• Whenever possible, consider tying your idea to something else like a national holiday, local event, etc. This helps ensure you meet the first criteria (interesting others) and gives you an “excuse” for your promotion.

Try This

A good example might be Small Business Saturday, a national recognition of small businesses that takes place the day after Black Friday in November. Initially a way for small businesses to grab some trade following the holiday stampede, the movement has found its own “legs” as more come to appreciate the advantages of shopping and spending locally.

Of course, your promotion must be more than just announcing the fact that you’re open on Small Business Saturday. Maybe you’ll have live music? A raffle? A benefit for a local charity? The possibilities are virtually endless, but you must also vet them in terms of practicality, cost, etc.

• Timing, as they say, is everything. One thing that separates experienced marketers and professionals from others is the former know that planning these things cannot start two soon. A month out? You’re probably too late already.

Here’s why: the issue isn’t how soon YOU can bring it off; it’s how soon others need your information to fit THEIR schedules. Newspaper and radio news people may need a two or three week time frame for anything of this nature. Remember, your business event is not on the scale of a presidential visit, tornado or other “real news.”

You can get attention, but you must remember their scheduling needs first. A magazine will need even more advance time. Find these issues out before, not after you send information. Even social media – which is a great tool for these types of things – can need a month or more to provide for effect lead time and repetition.

There’s more – much more – but these concepts illustrate the types of things new need to create your own marketing miracles. Spend a few minutes a day or even weekly on planning, and you can move your business forward!

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Midwest Small Busness Finance | 7001 N Locust St. | Gladstone, MO 64118 | Phone: 816-468-4989