Pros and Cons of Small Business Marketing Consulting

If you are someone who has started their own small business, you have probably taught yourself how to do many things. However, you will probably getbusinesstoday reach the point where you are unable to continue helping your business grow on your own, and it is time to hire a marketer. Before you go through small business marketing consulting, read this article of the pros and cons of a business marketing consultant.

Pros

1. One of the most obvious pros to hiring a marketing consultant is that they are trained professionals. They have experience, education, and creativity that is an extremely good asset to your small business. If you get a good marketing consultant you will get someone who is trained to look into the buying trends, the market, what is popular, the demographics, etc., to get the best results for you.

2. Another advantage is that it will pay off in the long run. If you hire a company that has a proven track record, you can be sure that you are putting your money down for a good cause. Although you may see results instantly, the marketing company will also give you weekly, monthly, and quarterly reports about how many hits your website is getting.

3. The final advantage of hiring a marketing consultant is that you are given more free time to focus on other aspects of your business. There is a lot to do when you are running your own business, and saving time allows you to improve other areas of your business.

Cons

1. One of the biggest cons has to be money. If you are a small business you probably do not have the funds to go out and invest in a marketing company. Creating a marketing plan, advertising campaign, public relations strategies, and promotions take time which costs money. Luckily there are ways around spending too much money. You are able to hire a college grad, intern, or a freelancer, who are all much cheaper than a big business and do fairly good work.

2. The final con when looking to get small business marketing consulting, is the feel that the company does not know your business like you do. You created the business which makes you feel like you know what is best for it, and that by explaining everything to the consultant you will be creating the marketing by yourself.

In the past a person would have found it hard to become a small business marketing consultant. In present day the use of the internet has changed that. You can start your own business if you know how to do the following things.

1. Present your service to other small business owners in person. If you’re the type of person is comfortable talking to small business owners in person then you can quickly become the local small business marketing consultant expert.

When you realize that people still like to buy from people this gives you a huge advantage in starting your business. Plus if you have an understanding of how the Internet works, you have a tremendous opportunity to quickly build a business if you will get out and meet people face-to-face.

2. Understand how to bird dog, a project. Today small business marketing consultants do not have to physically do all the work, but rather they need to know where to find the people who can do the work for them. Let’s look a little closer at what you need to be consulting small business owners on.

3. Today these businesses should be marketing themselves on the Internet in various ways. The best way to do that is to target longtail keyword phrases built around local search.

For example, if you have a pet store in Eerie Indiana, a keyword phrase that you would target is Eerie Indiana pet store. There really is no limit to the number of phrases that you can target.

Businesses today should have a website and an auto responder. They should be able to present themselves in a positive light, encouraging customers to come to the store after visiting their website. They also should be capturing contact information from their customers for future follow-up via their autoresponder.

Having an autoresponder gives them the opportunity to quickly contact their mailing list and do such things as offer specials, let them know when new products come out, or just invite them into the store for various celebrations and functions.

4. One final thing we want to mention is consulting today with small businesses on their marketing is an ongoing thing. The successful consultant is one who is going to be around tomorrow to help businesses as their needs change.

If you are willing to do this, you become more than a consultant. You actually become a valued partner in their business.

Successful small business marketing depends a great deal on having good relationships with your business customers. Happy customers are likely to return to your business again and again, and recommend your business to others in their field or industry. Without repeat business from your current customers, and their help in promoting your business to new customers, you could find yourself pouring endless time and resources into your marketing while not actually growing your business or sales over the long term.

Maintain contact with customers

Great customer relationships take time and consistent effort to maintain. It is a good idea to remain in contact with your customers (although not to the point where it annoys them). Regular contact with you will help keep your business in the forefront of their minds, and it could give them a nudge if they have been thinking about purchasing your product or service. You can take this one step further by creating customised emails with their name, and date of last purchase, and sending them to customers who haven’t been in contact for a while. Add an incentive such as a discount to encourage them to return.

Encourage referrals

Word of mouth is a powerful form of small business marketing, and one that you can turn to your advantage by offering incentives to your current customers for referring other businesses.

Offer free upgrades

If you run a subscription service, consider offering your current customers a limited time free trial of a premium service. Once they get used to using the more expensive service, they might decide they don’t want to go back.

Offer great customer service

Keep your current customers happy by providing the highest possible level of service, and making sure you meet or exceed their expectations. If you receive negative feedback or complaints about your business, it is best to deal with them quickly rather than avoiding them. If your business is seen to take your customers’ needs seriously, and takes a proactive approach to resolving issues, you can end up turning a negative situation into a positive one.

When it comes to your small business marketing, don’t underestimate the importance of good customer service. Look after your current customers and they will remain loyal to your brand, and even help you bring in more business in the future.

Most small and medium businesses don’t have a huge marketing budget and leveraging your existing relationships can be an effective and low cost marketing strategy.

Jo Macdermott is the Chief Marketing Consultant at Next Marketing, the marketing agency Melbourne [http://www.nextmarketing.com.au] residents turn to when seeking a professional marketing solution. Her team can help you devise a marketing strategy, implement a social media plan, and her highly talented graphic designers work alongside her marketing pros to build a solid marketing plan that will help you attract more customers, expand your business, and build momentum for many months to come. You can find her on almost every social media platform out there including Google+ [http://www.nextmarketing.com.au/blog/?rel=author] as well as sharing fantastic tips and insider info on Next Marketing’s blog.

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