Marketing done correctly can be an incredible asset to your company's growth and future. Done wrong, might as well be tossing cash into a seething blaze. Since entrepreneurs must be whatever their independent venture needs all the time it can be hard to ace every one of the subtleties that go into marketing and sales. In case you're not a characteristic businessperson, it can be much more troublesome. But don't worry; follow these tips and you will soon be reaping the rewards of "spending some to make some".

  1. Highlight what is different about you from your competitors. When people "shop" for a service or product, they are researching tons of businesses. What seals the deal is when they come across a company that is showcasing something that catches their attention, highlighting something that the others are not. Clueless as to how to do that? First with checking these three things: Your cost (you need to know how to price your products. If you are pricing them wrong, to begin with, then you're not ready to market your business). The second thing is quality. I cannot even begin to tell you how many clients I have worked for that happily sold CRAP. They did not care about the rating of the product itself, nor the recommendation they received about it. They were persistent in selling it because it was cheaper for them. They were not looking at the bigger picture. Make sure your products or services offered close to the best quality available (always remember your competitors are ready to take your leads). The third thing is a balance of those first two--if your product/service is pricey, make sure you're properly marketing that expensive product in a way that tells the story as to why the investment would be a smart decision for the customer.
  2. Listen to ALL the feedback you get. I have found that the most successful companies out there made a lot of bad decisions in their beginnings. The key to becoming a better person is accepting criticism so you learn. The same thing applies to businesses. Send out surveys with an incentive if you need to hear what people are thinking about your business if you do not already have good feedback already. Having several eyes on something brings out things you may have never caught for each mind is a different world. We all perceive things differently. You will be surprised by the responses you get. Take those and implement them into your business or keep an eye out for them in the future. Sure, there will be some that simply have nothing helpful to say--just weed those out. 
  3. Be a risk-taker. I once worked for an established company that had been in business for three decades. Their sales were starting to dwindle with the changing times. This generation researches things differently. They find things differently. They make decisions differently. Times are different! Therefore, the company had to "change with the times", but they did not know-how. This is when you have to be a risk-taker. Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb, but the 1,001 try worked, and now look at the result. 
  4. Give them a reason to keep coming back......other than having quality products/services. Implementing a rewards system along with excellent customer service and quality products has never failed a company (that I know of). Incentives to keep shopping with a company are becoming a more popular offer these days. Many use coupon codes or the "Invite a friend" approach (if their friend signs up too, you get $50 off your next order, etc). Reward your customers with regular deals and sales along with exceptional customer service and they'll keep coming back. Often times kind and courteous customer service, regardless of a high price tag, will bring people back because of the feel-good environment that is given to them. Keep them coming back by having them feel that they get more than you do out of the deal.