Home business entrepreneurs sometimes forget that they need a marketing plan every bit as robust as a Fortune 500 corporation – just smaller. It’s tempting to think all you need to do is mention your new product or service on Facebook and that’s it. Sales and growth will take care of themselves after that. Sorry, that’s the path to no growth and a business not worth the time you put into it. Home-based businesses marketing is more than scratching a check for a massive media blitz.
Create A Storefront
If the added expense of a brick-and-mortar storefront makes you break out in hives, create a mobile storefront out of your – gasp – vehicle. Wrap the thing in your logo (make it splashy and bright). Put dozens of magnetic business cards on it for people to grab when they walk past. Depending on your product, you may be able to keep a small amount on inventory in the trunk for on-the-go sales. Ta-da! You just created a storefront that goes everywhere you do. After the initial investment, no more expense.
Expand Your Product Line
The old advice to “do one thing and do it really well” is still valid, but at some point, your home-based business may max out its first product or service. That’s when it’s time to get complementary. If customers have shown they love what you’re doing, it’s time to give them more but in a different way. More products means more profit streams, and that means you get to do more of what you love! Let’s assume you make the best widget on earth. People LOVE your widgets and stand in line to buy a new one each week. Why the heck not add associated products like widget holders, widgets in different colors, shapes, and sizes, and so on? Suddenly you have an array of high-demand products rather than just one.
If not executed well, a new product line can put unwelcome pressure on the cost side of your profit statement. If expansion costs are high, it may be worth your time to test-market new products before a full-scale launch. Check out entrepreneur.com’s article on Pros and Cons of Expanding Your Product Line.
Sell More to Good Customers
Who is likelier to buy from you? A stranger you’ve never met or the person who just walked out with an armload of product? Hopefully, you said the latter because that’s the reality of the situation. It can cost six to twelve times as much to capture new customers as to remarket to current and former customers. How do you get a loyal customer to spend more? Volume discounts are one way. Punch cards for loyal customers are another. You’ve seen them at hair salons and some restaurants, but the technique is fair game for home-based business also. If you could get each regular customer to buy even once more weekly, it would make a huge difference in your cash flow. Also check out infusionsoft’s article on digital remarketing.
Remove Negative Search Results
Even the most customer service oriented business owner gets a negative review sometimes. The reality is you can’t please everyone all the time. Your best bet is to just forget about it, right? No! That negative review is going to sit there for millions of years until the sun expands and destroys the solar system. You need to seize the lemur by the horns and do what you can to remove negative search results. If the posting is defamatory, contact the website hosting it and plead your case. If the complaint is about something you can remedy, move heaven and earth to do so. Contact the writer offline and see if a refund or some other corrective measure will do the trick. Mostly, people just want to be heard. This is EASY marketing.
ire Help, Not Employees
Hiring an official employee triggers all kind of paperwork headaches that you might not want to deal with. Instead, multiply your efforts by putting your kids to work on commission, finding a freelancer or independent contractor, or even set up an internship arrangement with a local high school or college.
The preceding tips for marketing a home-based business are only the tip of the lettuce leaf. There are plenty of other low cost ways to propel the presence of your product or service to a more prominent place in your local community or the world.