Written for the Chesapeake Alliance By: Sadie Cohen
Senior entrepreneurs bring a wealth of life-experience to the table, but marketing is one of those areas where even the most experienced business professionals can feel some trepidation. Marketing your business as a senior entrepreneur doesn’t have to be hard, though. If you aren’t sure where to begin, The Chesapeake Alliance provides some tips and tricks to help you market your business successfully.
Even if you market your company effectively, your business might not succeed unless your business acumen is sharp. When you generate more sales, running your company can get more complex to manage. As a result, you want to make sure you’re prepared to keep all aspects of your operations on point before heading down that road.
If running a business is new to you, heading back to school to earn an online MBA is a wise plan. You’ll sharpen your business acumen by digging into subjects like human capital management, strategic planning, research and statistics, and economics. Plus, online programs are flexible, making it easier to balance your work, education, and personal life.
If you’re new to the world of marketing, you might think that paying an agency is your best bet. However, that isn’t always the case. Usually, you can develop a simple marketing strategy on your own. By doing some market research, completing a competitor analysis, defining your target market, and finding your differentiator, you can craft a strong foundation without any paid-for assistance.
Similarly, you don’t have to spend a bundle on tools to get everything you need to market your business. For example, Canva can help you make stunning social media graphics for free, and website builders like Wix and WordPress don’t come with big price tags.
When you initially begin forming a marketing plan, it’s normal to focus on the fundamentals. For example, creating a standout website is essential even if you aren’t in e-commerce. Having a presence on social media is also a must. That way, you can engage with your customers and tap into low-cost advertising options. However, that doesn’t mean you want to stop there. Instead, it’s wise to explore a mix of strategies. Here are some other options worth considering.
If you operate locally, a cross-promotion could be a solid choice. You’ll partner with another area business (or several) that isn’t a direct competitor and has a similar audience, allowing you to tap into each other’s customer bases.
Many cross-promoting strategies can work. Just make sure to discuss the options with the other companies, allowing you to agree on an approach that works best for everyone involved.
If you’re a product seller and some of your inventory isn’t moving, consider adding them to a top seller to create a bundle. Essentially, you’ll be offering the pair of products for a bit less than full retail price. This makes shoppers feel like they’re getting a bargain – which can boost sales – while helping you offload poor-performing items.
Just make sure you don’t market it as a “free gift with purchase” style promotion. If you make an item a free gift, it diminishes the product’s perceived value. By doing a bundle instead, you can make sure the standalone product’s reputation isn’t harmed.
When it comes to powerful marketing tools, referrals are an excellent weapon in your arsenal. Ninety-two percent of consumers trust referrals when they come from a person they know. Plus, when referred by a friend, they are four times more likely to make a purchase.
Make sure your referral program is accessible and rewarding. Referral links are an easy way to begin if you operate mainly in the e-commerce space, though you can also go with codes. Having an online referral form is another option, as well as a simple blank if your shopping cart where buyers can list the name of their referrer.
When it comes to rewards, consider going with discounts on future purchases. You can either offer a specific percentage with each referral or go with a points program. In either way, you’re incentivizing referrals in a way that promotes return business while offering loyal customers a financial gain, making it a win-win.
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The Alliance acts in a business advisory capacity to the city of Chesapeake (staff and City Council) representing the opinion of the city’s business leaders on several key initiatives undertaken by the city.
PO Box 5008,
Chesapeake, VA 23324