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Marketing / Business marketing

Why new and small businesses need marketing

Have you’ve started a business recently? Or maybe you’ve been running for years, growing from the ground up? Here are some BIG marketing ideas for your small business.

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Small businesses like yours make up more than 95% of all businesses in Victoria, employing millions of people, in every industry and sector imaginable. They’re more specialised, more personable, and far more in-tuned with finding niches and gaps in the market than large businesses.

Get inspired to start marketing

However, small businesses are also presented with different challenges. Sourcing new leads can be difficult without a large staff. There are fewer organic networking opportunities, tighter cash-flow, lower visibility, and smaller brand awareness.

That’s where marketing comes in. Simply put, marketing is the process by which you promote your business to generate leads. Despite its importance, marketing is something that can get forgotten in the hustle and bustle of a small business.

If that sounds familiar, don’t fret. You’re not alone in this thinking.

Sometimes all you need to do is find the right motivation (which could very well be a fortuitously-timed article like this one). “Motivation is the precursor to action,” bestselling author Dr Jason Fox says, “To sustain motivation through challenging periods, we need to ensure that we have a clear and meaningful sense of progress.”

Find your value proposition

One of the first things to do to start marketing is to figure out your value proposition. As Emergent CEO, Holly Ransom, puts it, there’s two tips for doing this.

First, “Know your ‘why’ and ensure people (staff, consumers and other stakeholders) can see, touch and feel it.” Why does your business exist? What are your strengths? Where can you provide the greatest value for your customers?

Secondly, “Keep your consumer close ­– ensure they can see their ‘why’ in your ‘why’; have open channels of communication so you can iterate your product and service offering with them.” Don’t be shy ­– find out what they want and you’ll find new opportunities.

A lot of these questions and more can be answered when you write a business plan. It might seem like a daunting task, but it can be as easy as filling up a simple template.

Start networking

Once you have laid down a basic business plan, you can start refining it. A great way to do this is through networking. According to expert Yvonne Adele:

"The benefit of networking is simple: it gives you the chance to help others which, in turn, builds your credibility and authority."

Networking connects you with your peers ­– other businesses who need your services, and who may be able to help you crystallize your plan and give you new ways to approach your business. They also provide inspiration to keep you motivated. “Remember that networking is essential if you want to stay in business!”

Build a marketing plan

A great place to start is to write down the marketing activities you’ve already done. What have you done in the past to spread the word of your business, and how well did that work? Then, download the Business Victoria marketing plan template and start filling in as many of the sections as you can. This will make your marketing goals and business objective clearer.

So what now?

Small Business Festival Victoria’s premier networking event­ – Small Business BIG Marketing – has brought together all the key people to help you kickstart your marketing plan. Top speakers including Holly Ransom, Dr Jason Fox, and Craig Davis who will be speaking at the event to inspire and offer their expert tips.

Experts Yvonne Adele and Toby Travanner will run networking sessions for businesses to connect. And, for the first time, both the Small Business Mentoring Services, and Australian Marketing Institute, will be onsite to provide free mentoring. Bring what you have, and book a slot on the day itself.

Small Business BIG Marketing is on 11 August, Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre. Learn more at www.business.vic.gov.au/bigmarketing

 

Small Business Festival Victoria runs from 1–31 August and has 450+ business and networking events, free webinars, workshops, fantastic speakers, and more.

 

 

 

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