Germinate an idea, plant a seed- and reap the rewards! Any SME can sow a giant crop with these powerful marketing tools.
Make sure your product is the best it can be – no amount of marketing will float a dented boat.
Start off small – do not make unnecessary investments until you are up and running and plan well for your sme finance when needed.
Learn about marketing for free – there’s a wealth of free help online and on foot – check out UK charities such as the Nominett Trust, colleges such as Bolton – and in the Middle East There are business skills academies launched by many financial institutions such as NBAD’s SME Academy with the purpose of driving growth in the SME sector.
Find your USP and brand personality- look at your competitor’s USP and find a different track, e.g. not just a dentist but also one that is gentle with nervous adults and children. Make a strong, simple logo that reflects “Mr Smiley’s” personality.
Know your target market. For the dentist, ask, “What makes a child tick?” What are their favourite cartoon characters and games, their lingo – and the same for parents – what makes them mad/ happy/ sad – especially when it comes to their kids? Keep researching and never stop!
Use ALL social media, not just Linked In, Facebook and Twitter – get a profile on Business Week, Entrepreneur and Inc. magazine communities. Post reviews on Yelp!, Merchant Circle and CitySearch as well as Google, Yahoo and Bing reviews. Be consistently on brand – and blog blog, blog! Mr Smiley could blog tips for oral health – eg that fruit contains sugars too, or that growing teeth need good fats, not just calcium – or he could post a humorous history of the tooth fairy, things to tell (or not tell!) your child before a visit to the dentist etc..
Embrace technology and power-up your office with these free (or inexpensive) apps. Mailbox is an easy way to mark and organize mail – and with Infusion soft you can see which customers are opening your promo mails – and thus build a customer base to keep targeting. For larger sends check out Pushover.
For video meetings, conference calls and file sharing Skype is still the most used – but for more options and power consider Fuze or Webex. You can also streamline your payroll with Zenpayroll and track your expenses with Expensify, which leads to our last point..
Do not be sloppy or lazy with accounts! Make a budget and stick to it. Use an MS Excel sheet and set aside time every day / every week to note and fix any leaks in your financial forecast – at once!
Thanks to the internet, SMEs are the fastest growing business sector today. So, don’t just sit there, grab granny’s really hot raisin and radish relish recipe, find your USP- and give your target market a blast!