Introducing the three stages of promoting your business

Having set up and run my own business since 2004, I've learnt through experience, contact with other businesses, learning and training that there are three key stages in promoting your own business; allow me to share my insights with you.

1. Know who you are and what you do

Have you got a lifelong ambition? Did a commercial idea strike you and inspire you? Or have you found that something you do as an interest has grown into the beginnings of a business? Whatever your entry route into your own business, in order to compete in a world of saturated markets, you need to take a conscious step and rationally think about who you are and what you offer to whom.

Your potential customers and your products or services are intimately linked, but your customer should always be your first consideration. A good way to start if you have an existing product already bought by customers is to find out why they like it or bought it - basic market research. Results from a range of customers will give you a clearer picture of the value of your product or service and you can adapt your offer and fine-tune it accordingly. Also consider how you are going to provide the products in terms of manufacture and delivery - looking at costs involved, prices that are acceptable to the market and viability of different options.

This is an iterative process and who you are and what you do will change with time as you adapt to better knowledge and changing markets.

2. Make yourself known

If people do not know you or about you, they cannot do business with you! With your initial knowledge of your product and your market (real or anticipated), you need to go out and promote yourself.

It is important that people and potential clients that you meet have a clear idea of what you do and textual and visual links to remember you by. A logo, in house style (brand) and easily expressed mission statement are the starting blocks. Now you can go out networking and talking to other businesses, either in the flesh for good people related marketing or with a presence in appropriate media. The simplest and most effective of the former is by networking and of the latter is obviously the internet. Promote yourself personally, through text and images. Remember that clients often have to be in touch with you 9 to 12 times before they have built up a sufficient relationship to be confident to do business with you.

3. Keep in touch

It is far far easier to maintain a business relationship and to obtain new contracts from existing customers or people who know you, yet so many businesses ignore this fact and concentrate solely on finding new cleints. Therefore put in place mechanisms where you can remind people periodically of your existance. These can range from regularly attending particular business networks, thorugh to mailings, offers, newsletters and articles keeping people abreast of what is going on in your business.

Summary

The tree stages of successfully promoting your business are:

  1. Knowing your own business and what your successful products.
  2. Making yourself known by having a clear identity and mission and promoting yourself.
  3. Maintaining the relationship with existing customers.

Read other relevant articles that exist or are added regularly to my site you want to learn more about the different steps and how to implement them.

You can also get in touch with me, Chris Thomas, directly either on +44 (0)1223 440024 or vie e-mail at chris@miltoncontact.com, or using the form on my contact page.

Author:
Chris Thomas