Do you have a plan for promoting your small business? If the answer is no - and believe us, you're not on your own if you don't - here's how having a communications and marketing strategy will benefit your business.
Attracting new clients is the ultimate aim of the majority of small business owners. You're also probably wanting to nurture your relationships with existing clients so they'll keep coming back for more, plus refer people to you.
How do you do this? Well the answer depends on your specific business and the people you interact with. Every week we have small businesses approach us looking for a magic formula to get new clients - a splash of Facebook, a new flyer, maybe some blogging - but there is no magic formula to provide instant results; it takes time and ongoing effort to grow your client base.
And here's where a lot of small businesses end up going down the wrong path - they just start promoting their business here, there and everywhere, without any kind of cohesive plan. This approach is hit and miss at best and we often see people who have put a lot of effort into promoting themselves across every possible channel but have failed to see results.
A basic communications and marketing strategy will enable you to refine the methods you use to connect with potential and existing clients, save you time and money, and provide you with clear direction.
These are the basic building blocks of a communications and marketing plan:
- Goals: what do you want to achieve by promoting your business? What is the purpose of your strategy?
- Stakeholders: who do you need to connect with in order to achieve your goals?
- Objectives: what is your unique purpose for connecting with each group of stakeholders you’ve identified?
- Key messages: what do you need to communicate to your stakeholders? How will you craft your messages to ensure they have an impact?
- Channels/tactics: where should you be communicating for the best results? And how often?
There are many other elements that come into creating a communications and marketing strategy, but these are the fundamentals that will help you to set direction and make better decisions.
A good plan always pays off, so before forging ahead on that next idea to promote your business, take a step back, examine what has and hasn’t worked before, plan and set some direction, then take strategic steps forward.
Need a hand creating a strategic communications and marketing plan? We're happy to help, just get in touch.