23 July 2013

7 ways to get your business noticed

If you’ve got a start-up business, it’s important to think of ways to spread the word about your company and build up your customer base.

Here are our top tips to make sure your business stands out from the crowd:

1.      Raise your profile through social media

Facebook and Twitter aren’t just a good way for people to keep in touch with their friends, they are now essential marketing tools for business. Create accounts for your company and use them as a way to keep in touch with customers, build your network of contacts and get your name out there. It is also a good idea to write a blog and link it up to other social media so you can spread your company’s message, celebrate your successes and reach more potential clients.

2.      Be clear about what you stand for

Being wishy-washy is bad for business. Work out what is special about your start-up business and what you stand for and then stick to it.  It could be your product range, customer service, your entrepreneurial vision, or something else.  Make sure your website and marketing material clearly conveys your company’s message and its unique selling points.

3.      Talk to the media

If your business is doing something interesting or has achieved something great, don’t keep quiet, shout it from the rooftops! Get in touch with local media and trade press and let them know about any news and events.  And remember journalists are always looking for knowledgeable people to talk to for stories, so being friendly and approachable can help you build up a positive relationship with the press.  For specialist advice and help in this area, contact a public relations company.

4.      Don’t forget traditional methods of spreading the word

It’s easy to get obsessed with the internet as a way of marketing your business. Social media, email marketing, online advertising and your website are incredibly important, but be careful not to neglect more traditional methods. Business cards, leaflets and advertising in traditional media outlets are still vital ways of drumming up new customers. Not everyone uses computers – and the more ways you have of getting your company’s name out there, the better. If you have company vehicles, brand them with your firm’s name, logo and contact details and use eye-catching signs on your premises. Special offers and competitions are also good ways of getting people to notice you.

5.      Look at the competition

Check out your rivals and see what methods they use to generate publicity. Look at their promotional material with a critical eye and see what works and what doesn’t, so you can come up with ideas of how to do it better. Also work out ways to distinguish yourself from the competition so you don’t end up blending into the background.

6.      Write a marketing plan

Don’t leave marketing to chance, sit down and write a proper marketing plan for your business. Work out what marketing activities are likely to be effective in helping you reach your business goals and which methods will be the most cost-efficient for your company. Make sure your plan addresses what you are trying to accomplish and why and identifies your target market. It is also a good idea to set yourself a marketing budget and an action plan and then stick to it.

7.      Get out your office and network

Meet as many people as you can as you never know when someone may prove to be a useful contact in helping you develop your business. Join local business associations like the chamber of commerce, attend networking events and make contact with other businesses. This could lead to beneficial partnerships and will help you get your business known to a wider audience.  Many Bizspace business centres run networking sessions where you can get to know your fellow entrepreneurs and the companies occupying your neighbouring business units.  This is a great way to refer business and get some reciprocal services.