Most small business owners are specialists. They are great at running a shop, making a product or creating something new. Most, however, are not advertising experts. If you run a small business, though, you have to realize the importance of advertising.
Your Advertising Budget: A Necessary Evil
Running a business is not cheap. Most business has a significant amount of overhead, usually with just enough left over for the proprietor to make a living. As such, most cut as many corners as possible. One area you absolutely must not cut is your advertising budget. Whether your solution is to print off fliers to hand out at baseball games or to have an employee dedicated to social media relationships, your advertising budget is one area that should not be touched. Without it, you risk losing new customers. If you cannot bring in new customers, your business cannot survive.
Leveraging Customer Relationships
The one advantage that small businesses have over their larger competitors is their ability to form relationships with customers. If you know the names of your regulars and have a place in the community, you can actually count on others to do a great deal of your advertising. You should never underestimate the power of word-of-mouth, and you should always seek to treat your regular customers with as much respect as possible. They will spread the word about your business through interactions with friends and social media accounts, allowing you to reap the rewards without requiring any real work.
The Marketing Push
At some point in the life of your small business, you will have to make a major marketing push. The number of customers that you can reach through solid management and good service does eventually peak, and failing to move past this point can be dangerous. Try for a yearly marketing push, combining everything from traditional fliers and advertisements to social media - if you do so, you should see significant growth year over year. Though it may be easy to become overwhelmed by your marketing needs, it is necessary to remember that new customers are the lifeblood of your business.
You have many advertising options as a small business owner. Whether you leverage social media or stick to traditional methods, you can bring in new customers and maintain solid relationships. If you fail to do so, though, you are throwing away one of the best chances you have to keep your business alive.