Starting a business is an investment of time and money. As a small business owner, you invest large quantities of both and naturally you feel frustrated when the results don’t reflect what you’ve put in.
This post is a “How To”, giving you some ideas on making the most of your financial budget and time invested into your small business.
How to Advertise a Small Business
When you run a small business, you will find yourself inundated with advertising proposals. Every proposal that comes in promises you the earth and assures your investment will pay off in valuable sales or sales leads.
It can be hard to differentiate between the advertising requests you get. When it comes to weighing up a proposal, make sure you ask enough questions to assess if it’s right for you. At a minimum make sure you ask:
- How many people read the publication / browse the website?
- How are these figures compiled, are they externally audited? (i.e. are they real and trustworthy?)
- What is the age / gender / location breakdown? or
- Who is the age / gender / location target?
Compare the information you receive to your target market profile. Does the advertising fit your business? Does it closely target the consumers your product or service is aimed at? Or does it cast a very wide net in which some of your consumers are present?
Estimating how many of your target market will view the advertisement helps you analyse the true value for money. You can work out the cost per view by dividing the cost by the estimated number of target consumers who will view the ad. For example; an investment of $1,000 to target 10,000 consumers costs us 10 cents per view, whereas an investment of $100 that reaches 200 consumers costs us 50 cents per view. Although the advertisement may reach a greater number of people, we are only interested in the cost per target consumer, as the rest is wastage for us.
How to drive PR for a Small Business
When you successfully drive PR for your small business, the benefits can far outweigh the time investment needed. With an increase of review websites, product and news blogs and traditional media branching into online spaces, there is more opportunity than ever before to get your product or service talked about.
Have a go at writing your own press release if you have the time or get it done professionally if you have the money. Send out your press release to every contact you can and don’t forget to hound your local paper – they need to be supporting small business in their area and that includes yours!
How to get the most out of your Website
We all pay attention to the colour scheme, the layout, the pages and the pictures, but often critical data such as the Title Tag and Meta Data which aren’t seen by browsers, but are read by search engines, are neglected.
Maximise the money you invest in your website by knowing how your target consumer searches, then ensure your content, title tag and meta data are all maximising these search strings, so your website screams at search engines “PICK ME! PICK ME!”
We run a Website Effectiveness Audit for $300 and this often diagnoses the key reasons why your website isn’t ranking in searches and bringing in the traffic you wanted it to. When your website is search optimised, it runs effectively and delivers you more profit against your initial investment.
How to get the most out of your Social Media
The biggest investment you will put into your Social Media is your time and when you start out that seems like something you have in volumes, but as your business grows, your time budget shrinks.
Limit the amount of time you spend on Social Media each day, as it can easily be a distraction from what your true business is. I recently did a post on 3 Secrets to Social Media Success that offers an insight to most social media applications and their uses, which will allow you to decide which ones you should be spending your time on.
Budget your Social Media time investment so it is split between:
- Networking / Attracting New Consumers
- Following Up on Enquiries
- Sharing Valuable Content
How to Ask for Help
Lastly, sometimes we need to admit we can’t do it all, whether it’s because we are not qualified or we simply do not have enough time.
Paying an expert for a few hours of advice saves you time and money in the long run, rather than muddling through trying to learn and execute simultaneously. The more technical the problem, the more valuable the help will be.
Reach out to small businesses that can help your small business. There are a multitude of virtual assistant businesses that give you the support systems of working in a big business without the actual staff and spacing costs. Could someone else manage your inbox? Could your social media content be executed on your behalf? Would you finally get that PR campaign out if it could be printed and stuffed into envelopes for you?
Sometimes the best H word in Marketing is HELP!
How do you get the most out of your marketing budget?