Get ready to market your business in 2018
As a new year beckons, it's a great time to not only take stock but also to look ahead to the opportunities and potential pitfalls that lie ahead. I've been looking at some simple ideas to keep your business in trim for 2018.
New Year audit
Christmas and New Year is often one of the few times you can have space to breathe before the merry-go-round starts again. The turn of the year is actually a really good excuse to take a look at where your business is and how it's performing against competitors in the market. You may want to make some tweaks here and there, target some new customers in different sectors. It's also worth poring over your finances and breaking down percentages of where your income is coming from. This is invaluable information when looking ahead as you may find the most labour intensive projects aren't always making you as much profit as the ones requiring less effort. Drilling down into the figures can often tell you an interesting story.
Your shop window Your website really is your shop window online so just as you would refresh your 'bricks and mortar' window displays, promotions or décor, make the time to look at whether your website is fit for 2018.
Whilst there are no rules surrounding how often you should update your businesses website we would recommend you give it a refresh every couple of years. Some of the obvious signs that it's time to give your site a little lift are:
Align yourself with a good cause
Finding a local cause or charity that your business believes in can work on many levels. Not only do you get to help raise all important cash but the chances are your team will love throwing themselves behind fundraising ideas and it will help market your business to new audiences previously outside of your normal channels. People will share your content to support the charity and brand awareness naturally follows.
Supporting one particular cause for a year can give you a focus for marketing. Creating a calendar of events and activities for 2018 can help give you content for your website and material for social media and newsletters. Fresh engaging content, a chance to connect with other local businesses and of course the opportunity to raise funds towards your target. Everyone wins and you're bound to make new friends and business on the way!
Keep your customers happy
Although marketing has changed beyond recognition in the last 10 to 20 years, one thing will always remain paramount – good customer service. If your clients are happy with you they are unlikely to keep it to themselves. The most cost-effective marketing is a recommendation because it's free. It sounds obvious but it's also much easier to hold on to the customers you have rather than have to try to find new ones.