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5 steps to market your SME

Attracting customers is always one of the top challenges for start-up businesses, especially if you don’t have any marketing background yourself. However, the principles of marketing are common sense and can get you a long way without excessive expenditure.

1. Know your business

Time spent on working out what makes your product or its USP is time well spent because it helps you differentiate yourself from the competition. Clarifying your mission and values will provide you with a framework for positioning your business.

2. Know your Customers

Be clear about who you want to sell to. Who is going to buy your product or service? Even if your service or product could be of interest to almost everybody, pick a customer segment and start marketing to it. Once you have decided on a market segment, it will be easier to decide how to reach out to those potential customers and which channels to focus on as you’ve identified who it is.

3. Set a Budget

Keeping an eye on costs is crucial, making a marketing plan and allocating a fixed budget can help. It is easy to overspend; having a budget will help you focus your mind and your marketing activities. Beware of advertising scams though, remember the golden rule, if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t commit to anything over the telephone, and always get confirmation of costs and work in writing.

4. Care for Contacts

Referrals and word-of-mouth are a fantastic way to get new customers. Think about who you know who could help endorse your business. Always ask for testimonials, referrals and recommendations and use social media, it’s a great way to build contacts and promote your business.

5. Be Visible

A website is a must for any new business, but it can be simple and inexpensive. The three most important elements are your contact details, an enticing offer and an attractive design. The same applies to any other promotional literature such as leaflets, flyers and posters.

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