First steps in marketing your start-up business Part 1

Successful Business People.You are about to open your doors to the public, whether that is literally if you have retail premises or consulting rooms, or figuratively if you are working from home and are more likely to be visiting your customers.

How will your potential customers know you are there? You will have to tell them!

There are a few simple ways of announcing your presence. I will list a few and expand on some later in this series.

  • Prepare a press release. It is very important to get this right so I will discuss this in the next chapter.
  • Have an attractive sign if you have business premises, and make sure it says what your business does. Do not leave people to guess or have to find out by peering in your window.
  • If your premises are not on the main drag get an A-frame sign board and ask a nice shop owner in the busier area if you can put it outside their place. Many will be happy to help direct customers right up your alley.
  • Give careful thought to advertising. Many new business owners get this wrong and I will help you later in a future post.
  • Plan to network. That means making a point of going out to meet people in other businesses, and perhaps get an introduction to public speaking. Don’t worry. It will only be a minute or so and you will be surprised how quickly you get used to it.
  • Make as many friends as you can who are in the same business as you. I know from experience that camaraderie with others in a similar line is very helpful and that your “colleagues” will be happy to share tips.

Starting a business can be very daunting, but also the most exciting time in our working lives. Running a business ought to be fun. Don’t you agree?


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Southern Comfort is what I’m selling

A view down the beer and wine aisle of a super...
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We are constantly assailed in the TV ad breaks by supermarkets essentially arguing and bickering with each other. “We are the cheapest on 500 products”, “we have these special deals on essential products”, “we will beat any other supermarket’s price” and so on.

It’s hard to know what to make of this. If we go to one or other of the supermarkets, aside from the different signage and logos they mostly seem much the same. We are bathed in bright fluorescent lighting, and while in the bigger shops the aisles are wider, we still seem crowded in by piles of food and goods stacked high. The experience is pretty much the same and not the best either.

Being different

Well, it’s nearly always the same anyway. We have a new Co-Op which has taken over many Somerfield stores including ours. They have refurbished the shop and have done a great job. Given there is no more space and they have wider aisles, they probably carry less variety of stock. They have more diffused less harsh lighting and even the signage seems less in our faces.

Our new shop gives more of a feeling of comfort and peace. It may be a supermarket version of feng shui for all I know, but it works. It is almost a pleasure to go shopping for our essentials.

Comfort zone

In my business, I believe what I sell is peace of mind, and I try to deliver it in the most comfortable way. I add-on little extras that don’t cost me anything but show that I care, which I do. I don’t give away what my business could charge for, and no business should. Mostly the extras comprise making suggestions about how my clients might source services I do not provide, such as web hosting or printing. I get to refer my friends but at the same time I am providing added value. People appreciate the thought and they will remember to refer business to those that help them.

Whatever the business we are in, whether selling groceries like the local Co-op or providing a service of any sort, that comfortable experience provides added value. Do you deliver Southern or even Northern Comfort?

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