By Cristiane Namiuti
Being a small business has some advantages: You can adapt quickly to changing market trends, and decision making is faster, probably because only a few people have this responsibility. You’re also autonomous, as there’s no large corporation that drives your agenda. You may not be attracting the same number of customers as a household brand is, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t look every bit as professional as they are.
Here’s how to make your business grow and look professional
Have a website (or update it!)
It’s disheartening when you consider that only about a half of small businesses have a website. In this age of online shopping and transactions, it’s imperative that a business maintains a presence on the web. Consumers are more likely to shop for products and services online. If your business doesn’t have a website, you’re more likely to go unnoticed.
The good news is that it’s quite easy to get a website up and running, especially one that can support mobile access. A good number of people with mobile devices use them to access the Internet, and even a search engine like Google supports sites that function well on mobile devices. Additionally, there are many low-cost tools available that can assist in creating a website.
If you already have a website, you should update it to the latest technology by enabling responsive design. There are even templates to choose from, which should make your work easier. And remember, even with a good website, relevant content is key.
Have a marketing budget
While you may not have the billions to spend on marketing like multinational companies, you certainly have to set aside a percentage of your budget towards marketing. Your product/service offering may be good, but it won’t “sell itself.” Marketing is an integral aspect to the success of a business, and you need to budget for it.
Setting aside resources for marketing means you have to ensure the budget allows for it. If you don’t have the resources ready, consider looking for external funding or partnerships that can sell your business. Other than traditional modes of advertising, consider partnering up with other small businesses to increase the visibility of your offerings.
Work on your social media presence
The need to establish and grow your presence on social media is crucial since it’s more of a necessity for businesses now. You need to figure out which social media platform works best for you. If you’re more of a professional services business, LinkedIn might work. If you’re a pizza shop that’s looking to show customers your good food, give Instagram a try. Look at what the brands in your industry use, and let that guide you.
About the author:
Cristiane Namiuti is an experienced marketing professional who’s knowledgeable in brand strategy and marketing for both large companies and small businesses. She has expertise in innovation and building brand equity, which ultimately leads to increased revenues.