Marketing a Small Business

Why are you in business? Let’s cut through the chase and get right to the point. YOU ARE IN IT TO MAKE MONEY! This blog does not intend to reduce the significance of the products or services that you sell. Because if it weren’t for these products or services, you wouldn’t really have a business, would you? But here is a trap waiting for you; a modern misconception that we are all in a widget business (i.e. focusing only on your product/service but not enough on your customer). And this is the real cause of slumping sales. What should you do when you decide to get into the marketing business?

First and foremost, try and get your attention off the widget (product) and on the people who are going to buy it. Because it is these people from whom the money is going to come that will sustain the business. When you force your customers to focus on the widget, then they find it hard to differentiate between your widget and that of the other person. This is when they start complaining, from price to size and more. Widgets don’t have value; value is what you uncover about the person who will give you money.

It is important for you to understand that your customers will only give you money for your product only if you address what’s important to them. One cool example is that of FedEx. Most courier packages are delivered in envelopes or boxes. But FedEx doesn’t sell envelopes or boxes- it sells “getting your package delivered by 10:30 a.m.” This is what is important to its customers and they are willingly paying top money for this.

Keeping your potential audience in mind, make a list of five to seven items that are important to them. Don’t list product features; list things they might actually say to themselves. For example, if you were a Mover (one who helps in shifting houses, offices etc.), what might be most important to your customer? Obviously, it is that you don’t break their stuff. Your service’s main feature might be the immaculate wrapping or packing, but think about it – will your customers care about how you wrap it or carry it if you break half their stuff on the way? No sir! All they’d worry about is their stuff looking exactly like it did when it left their home.

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