There are nearly 28 million small businesses in the United States (approximately 543,000 new businesses are started each month). To say that competition is going to present a challenging is an understatement. Jump over to the Internet and now, with an unlimited customer base and almost non-existent barrier to start up, your business faces the monumental challenge of standing out.
You can work your way through best practices and imitate other successful businesses until you’re in the black but these actions are taken by every other entrepreneur, as well. Following a script, working off another’s business plan, or down-right copying their model isn’t going to cut it; you need to be willing to try new strategies to get found.
Every attempt at marketing your business is worth a shot so here are a few you may want to try (or use as a launching point in your marketing creativity).
Street agents and street teams are individuals you’d hire to go out in dense, public spaces to subtly promote your products or services – it’s a form of guerilla marketing.
Let’s say, for example, you sold cameras. You could hire someone to wander around a tourist destination and ask others to take their picture. The product is now in a persons’ hands. Once the picture is taken the street agent can slyly strike a small conversation about the camera and where they bought it (which happens to be your shop).
Creative POS Displays
If you land a deal with another business to carry your products you would want to consider how it fits among all others. Your product could be placed within a row of a dozen or more products in your marketplace; a person can easily walk by and never notice it even if you have a unique product.
What you may want to consider investing in is a POS display for retail. This is the cardboard display you see offset from the normal selection such as in the aisle, at the end-cap, or placed on the counter-top. They are branded, flashy, and catch people’s attention. The displays generate interest on-the-spot, which leads to an immediate sale or, at least, keeps your business and brand on their mind until the next time they go out shopping.
Publish an Industry-Defining Book
Self-publishing is easier than ever thanks to platforms like Amazon Kindle. A commitment to write a chapter a week (and follow some of the many writing blueprints) can have you publishing your work in just a few months’ time (and maybe sooner).
Why would you want to publish a book?
Content allows you to build a better perception of your brand through the sharing of your expertise and insights. Through longer work you can tell your story, give great information to the reader, and use native advertising to sell your products or services without being too confrontational.
Having a book also shows that you are committed to the industry and not just a flash-in-the-pan that’s going belly up by the end of the year. Get the book into the right hands of other major players in your industry and you can build better connections which may lead to lucrative business deals, partnerships, or reaching a desired segment of your marketplace.
It Takes Money to Make Money
Free marketing & advertising is great (don’t get me wrong) but everyone makes an attempt at the strategies you find in books, videos, online, and other media which means you’re likely to do the exact same thing as all your competitors.
By making an investment into your marketing (such as with the three items in this post) you are able to reach a larger portion of your potential customers; you truly begin to stand-out. These investments don’t have to break the bank, either, as they are actually quite the sound and logical type of investment in marketing that have shown results.
It’s up to you, however, but do remember that there are nearly 28 million businesses in the United States… how will yours find its place?
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