Small business owners will already be aware of the battle that they face in order to contend with bigger organisations in their chosen field. The limited budgets, staff and sometimes experience can leave these type of business in the shadows, however there are some great little strategies that a small business owner can take which will help propel them forward. Below we have highlighted 12 of the best marketing strategies that you should be using as part of your business plan in order to separate you from other small business competitors and close down some sure-fire sales. #1. Create a Marketing Plan There is a lot of information to take in and remember so it is fundamental to start the process with a well-documented marketing plan that you can refer to at any time to guide you, or to help you make changes. The perfect marketing plan will allow anyone to be able to follow it step-by-step, so if someone is absent or leaves the company it can be picked up by another member of staff. The marketing plan should address all areas of marketing from social media, SEO, PPC and content for the blog and website. #2. Become an Expert in Your Niche The main thing you need to address is to become influential in your niche. Whatever it is you are selling or providing a service to, you need to own that market. Therefore study and take time to share information in the form of newsletters, blog posts, or podcasts. The more you get spotted as an authority in your niche the more likely it is that your credibility and business will start to increase rapidly. So ask yourself right now, is there anything that you don’t know or need to brush up on? Then take action on making sure you know everything there is to know. #3. Increase Conversion Percentages Our second tip is another important aspect of the sales process and this is to make sure that your website is fully optimized to convert to the highest it can. You can get both staff and people who have never seen the site before on your side here to test the sales process and make recommendations to you. Sometimes a small business can get blind-sided by looking at the same site each day so using a fresh pair of eyes can help identify some small tweaks that can put a big difference to the bottom line. #4. Get in Touch with Other Businesses You need to make sure its non-competing businesses, but more often than not partnering with others sites and small businesses that have something in common with what you are selling can be a great advantage. You scratch their back, and then they scratch your back. Whether this is in the form of a unique offer or discount code, there are plenty of talking points that can create new doors of opportunities. #5. Giveaways Everyone loves a good giveaway so think about creating a competition where you giveaway one of your products, or branded items. This can help engagement and awareness for your business and it can cost as little as you want it to. #6. Take to Social Media We don’t need to tell you about how Social Media is a huge driving force these days, if you aren’t on it then get your business a profile page on sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Once you have done this think about Facebook advertising and post boosting options that can help get certain messages out for you. Social media also acts as a central hub for customer service, and because of social media being such a public platform you need to make sure that each query, complaint or suggestion is closed down in the best way possible, keeping your business name and reputation in tact. #7. Offer Discounts Discounts are a massive plus point when it comes to buying products, even if it’s free shipping or 10% off a certain line. Discounts make customers feel like they are making a good saving and it can help increase your sales. #8. Sponsor an Event We aren’t talking about spending millions at Super Bowl, believe it or not if you look at local events that are going on you can sponsor the events at a reasonable price (perfect for local business sales). These kind of events will help to not only drive sales but it will drive awareness of you and your business, and from this point moving forward word-of-mouth could play a fundamental part in generating leads. #9. Get The Messaging Right A slight change to a message can make such a huge difference if structured right, so think about your audience and what customers you really want to reach. Also think about your company name and branding to see if there is room for improvement. #10. Focus Your Efforts If you really want to excel then one simple rule of thumb is to simply narrow your market by looking at what slice of the overall pie you can dominate. If you are in a industry that deals with Smartphones then you want to look at which area you specialise in the most rather than trying to dominate the whole niche. If fixing and repairing is more of your business than think about changing the business to deal primarily with this and become the best there is out there for repairing phones. This way you will notice that more sales and results will come to you because you are targeting a piece of the pie rather than taking on the whole market. #11. Reward Loyal Customers If a customer has initially chosen you as the place to go to then don’t just leave it there, offer them a reward for continued purchases. Loyalty cards, discounts, incentives, promotions and access to the latest products will make them feel special. #12. Always Listen! Finally, no business can become successful without listening to customers and engaging. Whether its negative comments, positive comments or ideas you need to take them into account and treat every customer the same. Mistakes are made to learn from and with any small business there is a learning curve that has to be crossed at some point in order to become the best there is in that specific field of business you are in. Being too blinkered or closing off your ears and eyes to criticism and feedback won’t get you anywhere, so take on-board any feedback you get no matter how negative and work from that to improve your business. Images: “Hand writing What’s Your Marketing Strategy with red marker, business concept / Shutterstock.com“ ________________________________________________________________________________ Tweak Your Biz is a thought leader global publication and online business community. Today, it is part of the Small Biz Trends stable of websites and receives over 300,000 unique views per month. Would you like to write for us? 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