Launching your business is without a doubt the most critical stage of your business.
And yet so many businesses get this critical stage wrong.
You’ve invested your life savings into the business, you’ve had sleepless nights getting ready to open, unexpected problems arose and then you open doors without marketing and apart from close friends and family and few passers-by nobody turns up.
You worry you’ve made the wrong decision and feel like giving up.
Now trust me … it doesn’t need to be this way.
You have a choice, so read on for each of these 10 Non-Negotiable Marketing tasks. Follow to the letter if you want to make your business launch as impactful as possible.
Who is responsible for marketing your business?
You are the business owner; Chief Financial Officer; Chief Marketing Officer; Customer Service Specialist; Cleaner; general dogsbody.
Make no mistake and sorry if this sounds harsh.
The role of marketing lies right at your door and if your marketing flies or flops it’s entirely down to you. It’s not the councils responsibility or the town teams or the landlord. It’s yours.
There are people you can outsource the marketing to, such as ourselves with social media marketing, but you have to make the decision to do that.
Not making a decision to do your own marketing or outsource your marketing is very much a decision.
Remember what Martin Glenn, chief executive of United Biscuits, and former Pepsico marketer said
“All business failures are marketing failures”
How important is marketing the business launch?
Marketing your business launch is mission critical.
In comparison to everything else you’ve spent on your business, marketing is cheap.
You 100% need a marketing budget – you can’t spend £50,000+ fitting out a business and then claim that £200-2000 on your marketing launch is out of budget.
There are several stages where businesses are a talking point for press / the wider public
- Business Launch
- Significant Events – Anniversaries / Award Wins
- Business closures
Starting your marketing 2 months after you opened, just isn’t as exciting to the wider public as marketing your launch.
Marketing your business on launch wins over the early adopters and starts the word of mouth process.
What makes your business different?
When you launch the local Facebook mob are guaranteed to post
“Not another coffee shop
Not another restaurant
Not another gym
Now a large dose of that negativity you can ignore as bored people on social media.
But you need to define your businesses offering before you open and be clear that everyone knows your USP / Point of difference.
You don’t want to be “just another XXX” and you can control the messaging about your business as long as you control your marketing.
When do you need to get your press release ready?
This is going to sound earlier than you expected.
But you need to start working on your press release before you sign the lease.
And you need to have the press release ready for when you sign the lease and go public about the business.
As soon as you get the keys the chaos of utility companies, builders, fit outs, personal issues will all come to fore – I’ve never met a single business owner who didn’t have to get through something unexpected when launching – so it’s important to have a press release ready when you get the keys.
The number of business owners who I message and say “if you can get us a press release and photo together I can publicise your business to our 59,000 followers” and they don’t have one ready or have the time to get one ready before doors open is way too high.
Do you need press photos?
If ourselves or the press are going to post about your business, we need a photo(s) of
- the business owners
- the premises
- the mock ups of the interiors
- what you sell / offer
Again, have these ready near enough as soon as you sign the lease.
We know lots of local photographers who can help with this if you don’t know one yourself.
Do you really need marketing? Won’t word of mouth be enough?
Please don’t fall into that trap that word of mouth is enough.
Word of mouth marketing can be very effective for small businesses, but it may not be enough on its own. Relying solely on word of mouth will limit a business’s reach and potential for growth.
When a small business says they don’t need to market themselves. Remind yourself that virtually everyone in the world knows of Apple, Coca Cola, Pepsi, McDonalds, Starbucks, Subway et all
& they still market their business.
You are never too big for marketing.
And as a new business with no customers apart from close friends and family on launch, how do you expect word of mouth to work?
When do you launch social media for your business and what mistakes are there to avoid?
There are so many mistakes small businesses make when launching, but here are a few
- Not setting up the social media at the point you sign the lease
- Paying for signage with social media profiles mentioned on it – but having no posts on social media
- Dabbling with social media without a marketing strategy
- Ignoring DM messages from local accounts and potential customers
- Doing less marketing than your direct competition and still expecting huge results
- Thinking one paid social media advert or one piece of press is the whole marketing campaign completed
Ultimately though what we find with business who don’t market effectively from the launch of their business is that 3-6 months after they launch, they start to get desperate and throw huge amounts of money at local newspapers and traditional marketing to “rescue their business” and it very rarely works.
Get it right from the start.
Should you go to a local networking meeting?
If you’re a B2B business than local networking is a non-negotiable – it’s something that needs to happen.
You need to get out there and meet local businesses owners.
Nowadays I only go to about 2 networking meetings a month, but when I launched the business, I was attending 2 networking meetings a week to establish my name in the local market.
If you’re B2C, don’t disregard it.
We have a local B2C business we’ve worked with that has had bookings for 30-50 people on the basis of turning up at our networking events.
How can you use influencers to grow your business?
Can you imagine how helpful reaching 25,000 people is?
How about 38,000 people?
Or 50,000 plus?
That is what local businesses have reached with our social media presence over the years
Working with local influencers is working Smarter Not Harder – tapping into someone with a local audience to grow awareness and sales for your business.
Work out the win-win for both parties and you have a winning formula you can repeat.
How far should you plan your marketing for?
Marketing never stops
Don’t fall for the mistake that marketing is just something you do for a few weeks at launch and then seasonally and sporadically
I’m nearly 14 years into running this business and I still proactively market my business every day, despite being busy 5 days a week.
If you get a strategy right from the beginning and understand your content pillars, goals and objectives then it will serve you right in the long term.
You won’t make marketing decisions 3-6 months later based on desperation.
And now for the launch party – a perfect way to put your business at the heart of the community and bring together all of the above!!!
NEED HELP WITH SOCIAL MEDIA TRAINING FOR YOUR BUSINESS
Chat to us about Social Media Marketing for YOUR organisation , so we can better understand YOU and what will grow your organisation
Remember we can only find out what is unique to your business by chatting with you
We offer Social Media Training on
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* Corporate Workshops
* Group Workshops
* Face to Face or Via Zoom / Skype
Please call Alex on 07806774279 or email firstname.lastname@example.org