Recessions can take a toll on small business owners.
(article continues below)
It's a time when many small businesses will close up shop, but there's no reason your small business can't make it through to better times.
The key is to stay active with marketing and do so in a way that keeps revenues flowing into the business. In this article, we discuss some excellent marketing tactics for a down economy.
Invest In a Small Business Web Presence
In a down economy, one of the best marketing tactics is to invest in your website. After all, that's where the customers are these days.
Traditional advertising spending, which has included newspaper, magazine, and other print publications continues to decline as the readership and circulation of these mediums continues to go down.
More and more customers are moving online to find the products and services they are looking for. Small businesses that can't be found online and through local searches are missing out on potential business.
Getting your own web presence is also very easy. Many companies offer Website packages that are even under $5.00 per month.
You can design your own site and include your products or services, your contact information, pricing, and where you are available. Oftentimes you can even sell your products online using even basic packages, taking payments online and driving additional sales.
Online search engines like Yahoo!, Google and MSN have also devised ways to increase your search results, and can help you use tools to get noticed in local searches and keyword searches. If you have extra budget, you might even want to consider making some inroads into the world of paid search marketing, which can reap big benefits when done effectively.
When you have your own Website, you have another avenue for customers to find out about you and contact you directly. You can add your web address to your traditional networking and marketing materials as another point of contact. As more and more consumers go online, they will come to expect your business to have an online web presence. If you don't, they could very easily move on to a competitor who does.
Be Creative, Stay Visible and Keep Testing!
Now more than ever you need to use your business savvy and marketing creativity to drive business and keep your customers, even if it means doing so on a shoestring budget.
Some types of marketing are relatively cheap and when done correctly, and effectively. For example, traditional direct mail can still work, especially for retaining your valuable customers.
And it's not as expensive as you think. Postcards can be ordered for a low-cost. Oftentimes you can get 100 for under $25.
You could mail them out, or to save money on postage you can design one with a coupon or special offer, and either give them away at your shop to entice people to come back and buy at a later date, or put them into shipments as a box insert. When people open their package they can get a postcard with another special offer or a coupon for money off their next order, which they will encourage them to buy again.
If you haven't yet, you can try to get visibility with signage including car door magnets, or lawn signs. Keeping visible keeps you top of mind with customers who may need your product or service.
But the one thing that you can't stop doing is marketing.
The strides you make now will sustain you through these tough times but can also be used anytime to drive business.