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From one small business to another, here are four key tips to get your little engine on the fast track to success—without breaking your bank.

On Target.
Who do you aim to please? Whether you’ve thought about it or not, your business is targeted for a specific individual or group of people. Despite the differences between small businesses, they all have an easily identified target audience to keep in mind when developing and implementing business strategy. Review and construct who your “perfect” target is: What traits do they have? Where do they work or play? How might they try to find you? Figure out how your target audience connects with other people—e-mail, face-to-face, social media—and promote to them on their terms.

Get Social.
No, we don’t mean chatting it up with Susie down the block. If your small business is not on social media, you are miles behind your social-savvy competitors. To be effective, extend beyond a simple Facebook status or tweet. Seek ways to engage with your audience by promoting conversation and creating visual buzz. You can’t have a conversation with every person, in real life, but you can pique their interests and engage them literally where they stand through mobile technologies and social media. Your business is always open. Someone is talking about you.

Make Friends.
Seek opportunities to partner with other businesses and organizations in your community to make positive mojo. This can expose your business to new clientele and vice versa, creating growth and increasing exposure. Invest in those who invest in you. It truly is that simple. Small businesses are held up by the loving hands within their community, so show your gratitude by giving back whenever possible. While it is important to assist other for-profit organizations, find ways to show you care at an individual and nonprofit level. Showing that you’re a team player will only strengthen your standing in the community.

Meet Media.
They need you. You need them. Establish relationships with media personnel in your community—radio, television, editorial, and beyond. If something about your business is newsworthy (upcoming event, charity collaboration, partnership), put that idea directly in their inbox. But be sure what you choose to deliver is truly newsworthy. Nothing gets you put on the spam list of local media faster than repetitive communication with little value to the general public. Their job is to report the news.


Written by: The original version of this article was written by Chantell LaForest, a contributor from 834 Design & Marketing, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

 

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