BY MICHAEL UGULINI (Via EzineArticles)— Running a home-based business takes a definite commitment of time and energy. Working from home involves putting in place a quality marketing strategy designed to build your customer base.
You must think like a corporate marketer in many ways when it comes to promoting your small business. It will thrive when you take definite steps to position it for success. Here are 7 things you can do now to build your home business:
1. Set specific goals
Understand what you want your home business to achieve. Don’t start and then run your operation on a whim – hoping for the best. Set specific goals concerning sales, expenditures, inventory to carry, and such.
Precise goals help you budget properly. You find you use your resources more sensibly. Goals keep you from being distracted by unproductive activities that can hurt your business. Goals help you focus on activities designed to grow your business efficiently.
2. Know your products and your customers
Whatever you’re selling, you must know your products inside out. In this way, you can define their benefits properly to your customers. They will come to you looking for solutions; they will expect knowledgeable answers. Understand everything you can about the products you sell so you’re perceived as an authority and expert in what you offer.
Know exactly what customers want regarding your products. They expect great value when they buy from you. Therefore, know what motivates them to buy the products you offer. Knowing ‘motivations’ helps you focus your advertising and promotions to answer their concerns. This leads to actual sales.
3. Create effective marketing communications
Many books exist on marketing communications strategies. For your home business, succinctly, it’s getting the attention of your target market. Upon getting their attention, you impart useful information to help them make informed buying decisions.
You can start right now crafting first-rate marketing communications. These can be e-mails, social media posts, brochures, newsletters, blog posts and more. The focus of each communication piece must be satisfying customers’ needs. Consequently, create each message from your customers’ point-of-view.
4. Present a consistent business image
The hallmark of any respected and reputable business is its image. It’s what customers’ perceive your enterprise as being. The best companies consistently and coherently present themselves to their niche market. You must do the same as a work-from-home entity.
Present your business consistently in all your marketing communications. Have your business name, logo, colors, and such uniformly displayed in your emails, letterhead, brochures, pamphlets, print ads, social media backgrounds, and business cards. Showing your home-based business as an organized entity across all your marketing channels is a sign of professionalism.
5. Focus on customer loyalty
It’s great to make a sale to a new customer. It’s even better to make repeated sales to regular customers. Therefore, concentrate on building customer loyalty. Get to know your home business customers and communicate with them regularly.
Moreover, exceed their expectations when it comes to customer service. Offer a top-notch loyalty program that recognizes them as valued customers and rewards them appropriately. Loyal, repeat customers are the lifeblood of any business.
6. Be active on the Web
The Internet is where the action is today. People look for businesses, products, services, deals, coupons, and more everyday online. Your home business can be online and it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune to be there.
A simple blog promoting your business can be very effective. Additionally, contribute to forums suited to your niche. Share useful, relevant content on social media. Follow those who interest you; they may follow you back. This is an organic way to build your home business and gain exposure for what you offer.
Even in doing all of the above, you eventually have to ‘ask’ your target audience to take action. After all, you are selling products and services. After providing useful information to people, via marketing communications that help them make buying decisions, you have to ask for the sale. It’s a required part of doing business.
Do it in a respectful, dignified way, highlighting benefits you provide. Be confident in your ‘asking’, knowing you’re providing real solutions to customers who want their needs met.
Implement these 7 initiatives to position your home business for continued sales and profits. Don’t jeopardize your home business by not giving it the credit it’s due. Although you’re operating from your residence, you must approach your business with the vision and discipline that the big companies do.
Michael Ugulini is a freelance copywriter from the Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada. He writes SEO (Search Engine Optimized) articles for small businesses, feature articles, blog posts for small businesses, newsletter content, brochure content, and web page content. In addition, he’s a Watkins Consultant.