How To Start Marketing Your Business

To new business owners, starting a business is often its own reward. They are thrilled to be able to be their own bosses, and to successfully get a business up and running. Often they are happy just to keep the dream alive.But every business needs to grow. That doesn’t mean you have to reach out to a larger market – it means working toward increasing your share of the one you are targeting. This will keep your business healthy enough to survive obstacles such as tough economic times.In order to keep moving forward, we need to market our businesses constantly. We need to dedicate a certain percentage of our resources to building our brand and reaching our target market. Here are some simple things you can do to help your business grow.Have a clear picture of your target market. Find out what types of people use the products and services you provide and respond to your business philosophies. If you’re not marketing to the right people, all will be lost.Research, research, research. Determine how to best reach your target market and what they expect out of your offerings. Study your competition carefully, and make note of what they’re doing right and wrong.Choose your marketing channels wisely.If your target market rarely reads, there’s no point in advertising in a magazine. Use what you’ve learned about them to find the best possible outlets for your message, and focus your marketing efforts there.Give your advertising a chance. Studies show that consumers require repeated exposure to a product before they will even consider buying. So don’t be surprised if one ad run doesn’t bring spectacular results. If you’ve done your homework and found a viable way to reach your market, run the ad at least two more times before you evaluate the results.Take advantage of free publicity. Sending out press releases and finding other ways to attract the media will give you high-quality exposure, and it won’t eat into your budget.Keep track of the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. If what you’re doing is working, you should be generating more revenue. Use some of that revenue to do more marketing. If it isn’t working, make adjustments and try again.Sometimes you’ll have to take a step back with your marketing plans. But that’s not a sign you’ve failed. It’s a sign that you’re a smart marketer. Sometimes the market changes, and it’s up to us to monitor those changes and adjust our marketing plans accordingly. No successful company markets the same way forever. By evolving with our target market, we can make our marketing work better.

Why Branding Is Important for Small Businesses

Often small businesses fall into two traps around branding – that they can’t manage it because they are small and that it is primarily about products anyway. While branding does feature the products or services that a business offers, this is only a small part of it. And branding is something that can benefit businesses of all sizes as well as being accessible to everyone. Here are a few reasons to seriously consider working on your company branding.What is Branding?Branding is about creating a unique identity for your business that means even when you sell the same products or services as someone else, you can stand out from the crowd and attract customer attention. Small business branding can often be seen as difficult to do as you can’t compete with the big company in terms of resources or manpower. And while this might be the case with resources, it doesn’t mean your branding can’t work for you just as well as theirs.People relate better to companies that have strong branding and an identity. They vote for which branding works for them with their shop visits, clicks or purchases. By having strong, cohesive branding, your company can be the one that they notice, feel a connection with and therefore purchase from. It can also create brand loyalty and those crucial returning customers.Recognition Leads to TrustOne thing studies have shown is that recognition of a brand builds trust and people are more likely to buy from a company if they feel they can trust them. Therefore, trust and reputation are key to business success and branding plays a big part in this.By having that strong, identifiable brand, even the smallest company can begin to build trust with customers. This leads to customer loyalty – 48% of customers say they are more likely to become loyal to the brand during their first experience or purchase with them.There are lots of ways to create that brand to build trust with everything from catchy slogans and memorable names to attractive and eye-catching colour schemes being used. But the most effective brands combine something of everything. They work on the principle that we retain only around one-tenth of the information that we see when we read something.But if you include visuals with that information, this rate of retention rises up to almost two thirds. Therefore, having that catchy slogan paired with great graphics, a clear colour palette, brand voice and other elements means you have a better chance of people remembering what you do. That’s why visuals are so popular on social media and almost three-quarters of marketers use them ahead of even video.Brand ReputationAs you attract attention for your brand and build trust, then you start to create a reputation, be it online or in the physical world. Reputation is crucial for business – it covers everything from customer interactions, product standard, feedback and even how you reward your customers.That strong, positive reputation can even convince people to buy. 91% of shoppers asked in one study said they were more likely to buy from a brand that they viewed as ‘authentic’ than one that they didn’t. So building that brand reputation can gain you customers in a big way.Using marketing teams to manage your reputation may seem like something that a small company cannot manage but this isn’t the case. By having external experts who take on tasks such as checking customer feedback, managing social media and creating the right content, you can quickly build and enhance your business reputation.Making SalesA strong brand increases the number of leads that you will generate and this, in turn, means making more sales. However, you need to maintain your reputation and standards when generating these leads or the work done by the brand can vanish. Response times, voice and even the actual content you use to handle leads all needs to be consistent with the brand.Following through on your promises also helps build that reputation. Have a clear customer process with times outlined so customers know what to expect and make sure you follow it – that way people are impressed with what you do and more likely to tell others.Business GrowthThat strong, cohesive brand is crucial for other areas of the business growth. Staff morale, for example, can be a problem. If staff are demotivated, don’t know what the company stands for or feel unimportant, then this can lead to bad customer service. This damages the brand.So by having a clear brand that employees can get behind, you can offer a better service to your customers. Staff feel proud to talk about what the company does or the services that it offers. And they learn to talk with the brand’s voice, ensuring all of their communications with customers offers consistency. This makes the company seem more friendly and approachable and this is another reason that customers become loyal to the brand.Branding also stands out to potential investors in the business. According to a study by Reuters, some 82% of investors said that the strength of a company’s brand and name recognition were important factors in a decision to get involved with a business.
What this shows is that from all aspects of the business, branding is crucial. You need to have a presence that is recognisable from your social media profiles and website through to your physical store if you have one. The brand rules how you talk to customers and ensures staff can believe in it.There are lots of ways that branding can help with business growth and success. This means that having a strong brand and optimised strategy to use it is vital to the long-term success and profitability of your company.

Renters Insurance – Do Landlords Require It?

Is has become very common for landlords to require that tenants have a renters insurance policy. That is because this type of policy provides the landlord additional protection if there is an accident or injury on the property.Here is an example. If your satellite dish blew of the roof and caused injury or property damage, a claim could be made on your renter’s policy. If you didn’t have one the injured party may try to claim against the landlord instead.A renter’s policy will have two main types of coverage’s. One coverage will be for your personal property. You usually you get $10,000 or more for that. The landlord will be most concerned with you having liability coverage. Typically landlords will require that you have at least $50,000 in liability coverage. Some landlords will want a limit of $100,000 or even higher. The cost to increase the liability limit is very low so you may want to go higher even if it is not required.Most renters’ policies will have a variety of other benefits. If your residence suffered covered damage a good policy would cover the expense of renting a temporary place to stay while repairs are done. Your policy may also provide for emergency first aid to others at the time of an insured accident. There can also be coverage for your personal property away from home. An example of this could be if property got stolen out of your car. Property away from home will usually be a percentage of your total personal property limit. Some policies will also provide identity theft coverage. If someone makes fraudulent use of your identity this can help cover the damages.Fortunately this type of policy is quite inexpensive. I am in the Houston Texas area and a minimal policy usually costs about $10 to $14 per month. For inland areas with reduced hurricane risk the rate will probably be less. A renter’s policy will usually qualify you for a discount on your auto policy if you get it with the same carrier. As an insurance agent I would strongly suggest considering this type of policy if you are a renter. Even if the landlord doesn’t require it!As disclaimer, there are many different types of policies so have your agent review what is covered. Be sure to ask your agent what upgrades are available. All policies have conditions and exclusions, so features may vary from what I described.