Marketing your small business by mikesanye


									                                                                                                    This is a free marketing booklet for small business in SA

Marketing your small business -
with a punch and cost effectively

How to spend less on your marketing
and still achieve the desired response…….….2

Market your business effectively with just
your business cards…………………………..5

7 ways to sell your business without
lifting a finger………………………………..6

Why you do not need an advertising agency
for your marketing…………………………...8

Branding vs. Marketing –
what really counts?..........................................9
Unauthorised duplication and distribution of this material is in any form strictly prohibited. Information in this booklet may not work
for every kind of business but an attempt has been made to enlighten business man and woman. The reader of this booklet assumes
responsibility for use of t he material contained herein. The mentioned brand names in this booklet are used as illustrations and no
harm intended in any form. No guarantees of any financial nature are expressed or implied and reading this booklet implies that you
accept these terms.

Prepared by Bongani Sikhonde 2008 (083 425 6033)                 -1-
                                                                       This is a free marketing booklet for small business in SA

Spend less on your marketing and still achieve the
desired response
Whenever one hears the word marketing, as a business owner, you immediately think
spending more. As true as that may be, there are several ways that one can market their
business without digging a bottomless pit in their pocket. Below is a list of ideas that one
can employ and still achieve their marketing goals.

     1. What business are you really in?

          The mistake most business owners make is assuming that clients will fall over
          backwards for their service or product because it’s great. Make no mistake, you
          probably do have a great service or product, but does it solve your prospect’s
          problem? Identify exactly what business you’re in before you post advertising that
          communicates your product or service.

          Take for example a business owner that sells cushions. One would immediately
          assume that they are in the cushions business, right? Wrong. They are actually in
          the style, deco and comfort business. Knowing exactly what business you in will
          assist you identify your market and send out correct communication that will get
          your target market interested in your business. In this case, the cushions are just
          the product, not the business. Business owners often set out and advertise to every
          person from every walk of life, ending up spending more money than they should,
          with no measurable return.

          So, if you can answer to yourself what business you’re in, then you ready to sell
          your business.

     2. The difference between marketing and advertising

          Confusing marketing with advertising is a common error that we make in
          business. Marketing is on going while advertising is just a part of your marketing.
          To have an effective advertising campaign, you would need to map out your
          marketing strategy to the T, then all the exciting part of it, advertising, can start.

          Imagine if Cocacola posted an advert without a strategy, what would it say? Who
          would it be targeted to? My guess is that it would go something like “quench your
          thirst with our refreshing fizzy drink”. Instead, coke sells satisfaction, enjoy with
          your burger, lifestyle, I can go on all day. You see, your marketing strategy
          should answer all the questions before you start saying anything about your
          business. See below questions you should be able to answer before posting an

          - What are you selling

Prepared by Bongani Sikhonde 2008 (083 425 6033)   -2-
                                                                       This is a free marketing booklet for small business in SA

          - Who is your target market
          - Where can you find them
          - What reaction do you expect from them (expecting a sale from an advert is too
          ambitious, structure a system that will allow you an opportunity to co nvert
          interested prospects to sales, once they start paying attention).

          So, before posting a plumbing service advertisement on an automotive
          publication, make sure you got your facts straight!

     3. The power of writing vs. pretty pictures

          I would often hear business people saying, “this advert is not professional
          enough” or “it lacks creativity”. Look, if you have the budget then go ahead,
          commission a designer to design you a R 4500 advert with the bling bling. If you
          are like me, leave that to the big brand names, who post a pretty picture
          advertisement with a one liner. As a small business owner, you should be
          focusing on communicating with your prospects more than impressing them. You
          want to sell your business, not tell people about it.

          Writing an effective advert or copy for a flyer is key. This is your link to future
          clients or customers, so you want to make it good. Going back to our cushion
          business as an example. Writing an advert that says “Buy 2 cushions and get one
          free” will not really get the response you’re looking for. But, on the other hand, if
          the same advert read “Add a touch of style and luxury to your home”, will
          probably go a long way. Notice that the advert is no longer just targeted at
          cushion “addicts” but at home owners. This will definitely open up opportunities
          for our cushion business.

          So, pretty pictures may say a thousand words, but all of them may not be about
          your business!

     4. Make new friends

          Would your friends charge you money to talk about you positively? I don’t think
          so. Now, imagine if you made friends with every satisfied client or customer.
          Then asking them for their friends’ opinion on your business. That will double or
          even triple your client base. This is called the power of being a good friend.

          In my experience, close friends and family will occasionally give you business, if
          at all. So, making new friends with your satisfied clients or customers will be a
          sure way to go. Especially if you benefit from that friendship.

          So, spend time nurturing your friendship with satisfied clients, they will have
          lots to say about you and your business!

Prepared by Bongani Sikhonde 2008 (083 425 6033)   -3-
                                                                       This is a free marketing booklet for small business in SA

     5. Listen to the market

          One of the biggest marketing mistakes I’ve ever made was assuming that I know
          what the market wants. You can save a lot of money by asking the right questions.
          As a small business owner, it’s vital that every cent spent on your marketing goes
          to work for you. It will be a shame to start spending money telling people what
          they should get when it’s the complete opposite that they need.

          Take time out and speak to your potential clients. Find out what they really want
          and then see if your business can meet their needs. If not, spend your money
          advertising to the right people.

          Listening is a powerful skill, acquire it!

     6. Set trends in your industry

          In short, be INNOVATIVE! Let’s face it guys, we all are good in our respective
          fields, we all have great services and our businesses are competitive. But the big
          question is, why choose you over the guy down the road?

          The answer to this will be to differentiate yourself. Well, more like set a trend in
          your industry. Again, let’s take our cushion business as an example. Instead of
          just producing cushions from imported and local fabrics that every cushion
          factory is using, consider merging with a Ndebele patterns fabric maker to
          produce the fabrics you use on some of your signature cushions. Add to that,
          instead of selling your cushions off the shelve, sell them as artworks at a gallery.
          Make them seem special, more than just cushions but art for your house.

          Used correctly, innovation can go a long way. Keep in mind though, trends
          come and go, so, at the success of your first, work on your next!

     7. Set up a we bsite

          In South Africa today, online marketing has been taken for granted and businesses
          do not realize the power behind a powerful online marketing campaign. A
          powerful marketing campaign can be achieved through a functional website.
          Ironically a website is usually considered the last item in the marketing plan
          purely because “we cannot afford to put one up”. If one thinks carefully, what
          better way to market a service or product on a tight budget and get creative while
          at it as the web has endless possibilities? Compared to print, web is by far the
          most affordable way to get your message across. With a functional website the
          only thing you will have to communicate to your potential customer is “visit my
          website” and you’re sure to have them get a clear picture about your business.
          For low cost website service, visit

          So, do what successful businesses do, Getwebsited!

Prepared by Bongani Sikhonde 2008 (083 425 6033)   -4-
                                                                   This is a free marketing booklet for small business in SA

Market your business effectively with just
your business cards
Pick up one of your business cards (if you have one). What’s on it?
Let me guess, your business name, your name and surname, contact details and maybe
your services. That’s great, but do you get call backs from just giving a person your card?
Assume you do; are they inquiring more about your business or they looking for cost?

Never make the mistake of thinking that your business name says it all, it may but won’t
sell itself. To have your business card sell your business, prompt a response from the
person looking at it. You have 2 sides on a business card, why use only one? Putting a
service or product list can also be suicidal; your competitor is doing it too. What you
need more than anything is for the person seeing it to give you a call or at least express

Let’s use an example from our cushion business. One side of the business card will have
the business name and contact details. On the back, we could have a line that says “How
comfortable is your home? Call me to make some suggestions for you free of charge”.
Or, “art pieces on your couches too, not just on your walls. Let me demonstrate, call me”.

The one thing we forget when getting a business card designed is asking the person
looking at it to call us. It’s ok, there’s no law against it.

How many cards do you hand out to people? Well, giving 6 cards to one person and have
them promise to give to at least 5 of their friends can have a wider reach. This practice
has been tried and tested. Besides, business cards are cheaper than flyers these days and
I’m sure you can afford 1000 cards per month, the returns are greater.

So, instead of having a card with just a logo on 1 side and contact details on the other,
maximize on the space, it’s yours to use!

Prepared by Bongani Sikhonde 2008 (083 425 6033)   -5-
                                                                      This is a free marketing booklet for small business in SA

7 ways to sell your business without lifting a finger
     1. Website or Online marketing

          24 hours, 7 days a week and 365 days a year, your business is accessible. If
          you’re not online, your competition is. Imagine if I was to be referred to you by a
          person I meet at a party on Saturday night. All he does is give me your name and
          number. I get home and start looking for your business online Sunday afternoon.
          To my surprise, you do not have a website. Well, I start shopping around for
          similar services or products. WOW! Business X has a nice range of the same
          products you offer and I know exactly what they’re about. See what happened
          here, you were not there to grab my attention at the time you could have. As a
          potential client or customer, I’m gone! PUFF!

          A website is only set up once and does all the work for you. All you need do is
          send people to it and you stand a better chance of converting more prospects to
          sales, without physically trying to convince.

     2. Comple ment other businesses

          This is endless opportunity for your business, you just need to make the choice.
          Pairing with business that sells products or services that complements yours is
          beneficial to both. A cushion business can pair up with a bed shop, couch shop or
          furniture shop. All he needs to do is display the cushions on the beds or couches
          and leave his tag with business details on it.

          Pairing up services can be a bit difficult, but once you have identified your
          market, finding a business that complements yours will be simple. If they can sell
          you, you can sell them.

     3. Word of mouth

          Give them a reason to rave about you. Your customers are your marketing tools.
          Good service, no, in fact great service, will result in a string of customers from a
          single source. Always ensure great service to each and every one of your
          customers or clients. The more you’re spoken of, the more opportunity you get to
          make new relationships and broaden your client base.

     4. Repetition

          Say it over and over and over again, until it rings in your customer’s head. A good
          marketing message repeated long enough, tends to be the way of life for a
          customer or client. Ever wonder why you like certain take away food? Well,
          that’s because they give you the same offer over and over, their message is clear.
          In your business, you have to make sure that you stick to your target market’s

Prepared by Bongani Sikhonde 2008 (083 425 6033)   -6-
                                                                      This is a free marketing booklet for small business in SA

          heads as a particular service; they need to identify you with a specific benefit,
          personal or business. When I say fried chicken, you will immediately think KFC.
          Low cost airline, now anyone can fly, Simple examples of good
          marketing messages repeated until they made sense to be linked with the product
          or service.

          If you attempt to be everything to everyone, no one will remember you for
          anything, and you will keep marketing your products and services. Be clear and
          let the market, market you.

     5. Sponsorship

          As a small business owner, I do not have big budgets for sponsorship. BUT, the
          little I can do and offer does not go unnoticed. Every kind of business has a skill
          or product that is required by organizations contributing to good courses. Take
          time to source them out and see where you can lend a hand.

          Assume our cushion business owner has a daughter in primary school and a son in
          high school. Schools have reception areas, reception areas have couches. He can
          offer both schools cushions for their reception couches, which is visited by
          hundreds of parents, who happen to be home owners. Talk about marketing
          without lifting a finger. A plumber might think, “well, I cant really put cushions
          on the school reception now can I?” Of course not, but considering to maintain
          the local swimming pool or SPCA taps can go a long way.

          Look hard and carefully, you can find something to give, where you will get.

     6. Reward repeat customers or clients

          I’m not talking about “buy one, get one free” here. Ideas for rewarding repeat
          customers range from delivering service above and beyond their expectations,
          giving them “more” for “less”. All the way to helping their kid with a sc ience
          project building a circuit (you have to be an electrician, please!).

          A good example would be of our cushion business owner hosting a cheese and
          wine at the shop. This would mean that he will invite all the top customers for an
          evening of fun, give them little gifts (cushions) and party the night away. Add to
          that, each of them will have to bring a friend. So lets see, he gets to know the
          loyal customers better, show off his latest range, get new customers and have a
          little fun while at it (remember, he’s not selling, he’s entertaining).

     7. Be entertaining

          OK, I don’t mean be a clown. As a professional, you would want to be taken
          seriously, you and your business. Let’s face it; no one wants to do business with a
          grumpy person. Above and beyond the good service that you offer, you’re human

Prepared by Bongani Sikhonde 2008 (083 425 6033)   -7-
                                                                      This is a free marketing booklet for small business in SA

          dealing with humans. Offering a service with a straight face could loose you a
          client or two. Loosen up, be easy. Show you’re interested and listed carefully to
          your client or customer. Smile and show some LIFE. How often have you walked
          into a shop and the assistant walks up to you asking “Can I help you”, with a face
          that looks like a scene from a Zombie movie? Do you want to stay?
          I did not think so.

          On the flip side, some people can be too much. The jokes you tell to your friends
          on poker nights should be reserved just for that. When dealing with clients or
          customers, let them lead you into a conversation, which you will then entertain.
          Do not take over, play the supporting role, they’re the ones who need to feel
          special, not you. You will walk out as a nice guy who offers great service, when
          telling people about you; they will often say “there’s this thing about him/ her that
          makes it easy to work with”.

You do not need to always be marketing your business, doing the right things while you
work on it can turn into marketing.

Why you DO NOT need an advertising agency for your
Aside from the fact that you’re a small business, it is the most expensive way to entertain
the market, through you business.

Open a magazine and take a look at the big brand name adverts. Most are very
entertaining, funny and nice. Now, in the midst of all that, do you ever remember what
was being sold to you? Most cases, never, because your brain consumed the
entertainment more than the message.

I used to work for an advertising agency, and in most cases, when a brief comes in, the
first thing we do is crack the creative concept. NOTE: Creative concept. Now, you come
to an advertising agency looking to sell a product or service, but their 1st point on the
campaign is creative. I don’t know about you but I would like someone to tell me when
the selling part begins, during or after the campaign? When I’m R20 000 – R30 000 in?

Each and every business person is born with a creative bone in their body. The fact that
you thought of starting your own business is proof enough. Now, you may say “but I
cannot do marketing”, right! I believe you. Go back to the day you first had this idea to
start a business. What was your driving factor? What did you want to achieve? Was it to
help someone? If yes then who? Where are they? Can they read? Can you talk to them on
the phone? Is there really a problem that your business is solving?

See, there you have it, your marketing strategy. All you need to do now is answer the
above questions and you have a campaign going. While coming up with your message,
do not forget to be clear about it. People will often buy into something they understand.

Prepared by Bongani Sikhonde 2008 (083 425 6033)   -8-
                                                                    This is a free marketing booklet for small business in SA

Using “creative” headlines like “Stop Tap dancing” while trying to sell your plumbing
business, could be a waste of money and ad space. Try something like “I will find a
leaking tap in your home, wanna bet?” Notice the difference here? The first headline
does not want me to read on, but the second headline, calls for action before I even read
the advert. There is a school of thought in marketing that says your marketing should be
creative and clever, even funny. I DISAGREE!!!

Branding vs Marketing – what really counts?
Both, actually. I don’t know what you expected as an answer here but there you have it.

Face it, the whole world is brand conscious. If you think that your business will grow as
just a nice guy who sells good products, you’re wrong. Irrespective of you being the
driving force, your business needs to start collecting points as an entity, with a face and
attitude of its own. These are called brand attributes. Your clients or customers will, at
some stage, start separating the small business owner from the business. If the brand was
not being built all along, what will they have to hold on to? Building the brand through
your marketing as you grow your business will pay off at the finish line.

This document is about marketing tips for growing a small business, which means that
sooner or later you will have to hire people. People do not work for you but work for
your business, which in turn is a company. Imagine if Microsoft was called Bill’s
Computer Software? What would happen now that he has resigned? You need to start
thinking carefully about the end product (your business that is). You have to have a goal
of where you’re taking it and what you would like it to look like when complete. Do not
just get into business for paying bills and surviving the month, build something
sustainable. Its hard work building a business, you have to make it worth something at
the finish line. People do not buy people, but buy businesses, even easy if they are
brands. So, if you were just thinking of your business as yourself, rearrange your thought
processes as there’s a lot more work to be done here. The great thing about this is that
you do not work on the brand in isolation, but integrate it into your marketing.

A couple of pointers to help you start working on your brand:
   1. Do I have a proper logo (face for your company)
   2. Do I have a promise (slogan/ payoff line)
   3. Is my logo on my marketing material
   4. Can people recognize a benefit from my business
   5. What are my branding elements (uniforms, car magnets, business cards, etc)

Big or small company, branding is key. When doing your branding, image is everything.
Big brand companies spend millions a year working on their branding, that is why we
remember them. Would you not like your company to be remembered for something?
Above and beyond knowing about your company, as a potential client, I need to buy into
your dream, and dreams look good. Without a solid uninterrupted branding message, you
are at the mercy of your employees and ex-clients to sell your dream. The question one
should ask is; do they really understand what business I’m in?

Prepared by Bongani Sikhonde 2008 (083 425 6033)   -9-
                                                               This is a free marketing booklet for small business in SA

Thank you for taking the time to read my Marketing Tips, hope they will be
beneficial to both you and your business.

If you re quire any clarification about the document, feel free to contact me and
maybe we can toss some ideas around and help you increase your sales.

Bongani Sikhonde

Cell: 083 425 6033
Fax: 086 660 7246


Visit, it will knock your socks off!

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