In the United States alone, there are about 15 million small businesses. It makes sense to marketing to small businesses and not only target marketing at individual customers and large corporate clients. As a small business owner or a freelancer yourself, you know how small business owners think and operate, and you should be familiar with the most effective means to market your product or services.
Be straight to the point
Marketing to consumers usually requires elaborate studies on branding preferences, customer psyche and expensive visually-oriented advertising. Small businesses, on the other hand, know their needs, and therefore it's best to design your marketing materials and content such that these are straightforward and simple enough to understand. Show a small business how your service or product can help its operations and improve its bottomline. If you have marketing materials, skip the colorful and artsy packaging. Instead, highlight the features and good points of your product or service in a straightforward manner.
Unlike big corporations, small businesses don't have fat wallets, and resources need to be budgeted wisely, and would be attracted by products or services that can help save up on costs, improve sales, and increase profitability. Also, small businesses prefer vendors who are flexible with regard to payment schemes. They probably cannot afford to pre-pay a year in advance. The best way to offer services to a small business is to let them choose the quantity or length of service they can afford.
Network with other small businesses
As a vendor or supplier of products and service, it's a good idea to keep in contact with other small businesses. You can do this by joining trade shows and trade events, where you can exchange samples products and contact details with other business owners. Another good way to connect with other small businesses is by joining business alliances and professional associations. This way, you can easily get connected with other companies or professionals who might need your services at one time or another.
Use written testimonials
Small business owners often rely on word of mouth to determine whether a product or service is viable. As such, secure written testimonials to happy customers you have serviced in the past or who are still regular clients. This helps establish your credibility and new customers will find it easier to trust you.
Take advantage of media mentions
Another inexpensive way to get your brand or your company into the limelight is if you can get the media or industry mavens to mention you. For instance, if you are a software or service provider, if popular tech mavens like Michael Arrington of Techcrunch.com or Matt Cutts of Google mentions your software, then a lot of individuals and small business will be interested in checking out your website. It's like a celebrity endorsement, but these are ?celebrities? in their own industries.
Deliver on your promises
Small businesses rely on vendors and suppliers to keep their business afloat. A vendor who cannot comply with agreed supply agreements would have a bad reputation in the community, and this would be difficult to rectify. Therefore it's always best to deliver on your promises to your clients. Deliver quality work, and be on time.
Talk to small businesses as if they are people who you start and maintain personal and professional relationships with.
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