When it comes down to the brass tacks, there are only two kinds of small business. Neither is better than the other because each one serves the owner in achieving what is most important to them. Here at NuMedia Marketing we understand, and work with, both kinds of small business. That’s how we know that marketing for small business people like you depends on which kind of business you have. That means you have to determine what kind of business you have before you can effectively market it. That being said, let’s figure it out.
Which kind of small business do you want or have?
When you started your business and opened your door on day one, you had a vision – and a purpose. That’s where it starts …
The Freelancer, Consultant, or Other Active Participant in the Gig Economy
Often, these are people who are professionals and have spent time working for others in a specific field. Then one day, sometimes suddenly, they go out on their own. Sometimes it is frustration with the corporate world of work, or they are subjected to layoffs or company closures.
Whatever happens, they are suddenly in charge of finding enough work to pay their bills, support their family, and make a life on their own. They are looking for jobs to do.
These business owners are happy and content when they find enough work to meet their goal of making of living.
These could be people pursuing a living as writers, subject matter experts, web designers, house cleaners, artists, bakers, plumbers, carpenters, and many, many other different professional endeavors. Usually they work independently or in coordination with a limited number of people. Marketing for small business in this arena of the marketplace means working closely with the business owner.
Sometimes these people move into the other kind of business, but not always. The other business owners go into business with a different vision and goal.
The Business Builder or Operation Developer
These business owners have a different viewpoint. They want to build a large operation and run it. What may begin as one person doing the work, they eventually move out of that role and become the leader orchestrating growth and development. They hire people to work for them, sometimes as employees, but also as sub-contractors.
The bottom line is that they are looking to grow. That means increasing the number of people working in the business, the number of customers, the gross receipts, and the profits overall. They envision the business as something larger than just them.
When they look at processes and systems, they think scalability. Replicating the same quality and service time and time again.
They are seldom happy with the status quo because they want to see their business bigger and better year over year.
What about Marketing for Small Business?
There are a few similarities, and some big differences in meeting the goals of these different kinds of businesses.
It is only the rare business that doesn’t need a website that is functional and effective, and it doesn’t matter if it is a freelancer or a million-dollar company. The website is the online face of the business and has the power to bring in business or repel it.
Every business has to be understood in the marketplace and that is where branding operates. Your brand encompasses what your business looks like, what it offers, how it operates, and what it values.
In order to get the customers that are best for the business to survive, the business has to identify its target market and go after those customers. The customers might be individual consumers or other businesses. But effective marketers go after those customers and avoid the distractions of others.
Large or small, successful business owners set goals. It might be to increase the number of customers, to diversify products or services, or to improve the bottom line.
Marketing for small business of any sort requires attention to these similarities. But then there are divergent paths for the two kinds of business, too, which require a look at the different needs for each. These differences require big adjustments meaning there is no one-size-fits-all strategy for marketing for small business overall.
Businesses that limit the capacity of the volume of work to one or two people are not looking to gain a large number of customers. They will focus on building a brand of quality and reliability and network that to a smaller market. Word of mouth and referrals are critical to them. On the other hand, while quality and reliable work is important to business owners focused on growth, so is reaching new and untapped pockets of potential customers. Getting their name and face out into the public requires more expansive marketing and advertising strategies both online and in the physical community. From social media to tradeshows, and community sponsorships and events, the growing company wants to be recognized.
A small one-person business needs to have a computer, a website, and perhaps a social media presence that is stable and secure. On the other hand, a larger, growing organization needs those things, too, but on a larger scale. They might also need a network and server system that accommodates many devices, emails, and other software packages integrated seamlessly. From running miles of cable to making sure platforms communicate, the back end technology of a growing enterprise has to be thoughtfully constructed to prepare for the future.
Materials and supplies.
It’s nice for the freelancer to have a shirt with their logo on it, but if they show up to a meeting professionally dressed it is sufficient. For a large organization, their employees show up to a home with a uniform, business cards, and perhaps even a branded vehicle with signage or a wrap. Likewise, a logo on an invoice for the freelancer sent through email will work. A larger organization provides estimates, invoices, statements, letters, and other communiques on printed forms with specific logos, taglines and colors. Other materials such as one-sheets, sales brochures and catalogs, and signage are also designed and produced in a manner that is consistent with the marketing and advertisingmessage and brand.
The bottom line
The best part of being an experienced marketing company is that we work with small businesses of all kinds – and in all phases of their development. We love to see the freelancer make a comfortable life for their family while doing meaningful work for good clients. It is easy to appreciate the change when we see freelancers take their business to a different level by growing into bigger operations with new goals. And, just as an aside, we get a thrill being part of the team helping a business owner grow to meet bigger goals every year. It is evident, we truly have seen, and been part of, every kind of business success.
Whatever goals you have for your business, NuMedia Marketing has the experience and resources to help you achieve them. Call us at 317-563-7235 or contact us through our website when you are ready to talk.