Recently, a friend was sharing his disillusion regarding the slow growth of his business, despite the advertising he did, he was not getting any NEW business, just the regular repeat & referral small project. Since he believed his business was worthwhile and he did not want to close it, he was doing some research about why his business was not growing and why he was not better known in the area.
It is very difficult for small business owners to work IN their business and also ON their business simultaneously. On the one hand, they need to make money and on the other hand they need to market their business.
One of the best decisions a business owner can make is working with an agency that can assist them with various aspects of their business: Corporate image (designing a captivating logo and name), printing relevant items/stationery, having a web presence including Social Media and having a Marketing plan in order to turn prospects into clients and ultimately money!
Many small businesses already have certain of the above in place however due to lack of planning for marketing and advertising they tend to use various suppliers to do some of the other work, which is where the brand could lose its integrity.
So what 6 things should a small business owner look for in an agency which can help them grow their business?
1. Budget You, as the business owner, need to consider the budget you have for marketing. An agency that deals with SME’s, will be aware of the constraints of budgets of small businesses and be able to assist with excellent quality at affordable prices.
2. Brand consistency It is vitally important to ensure you have a consistent brand ie: your company name, logo, tag/buy line should ALWAYS be the same on ALL elements which markets your business.
3. Website Having a website informs your potential clients, online about your business and is an anchor in the virtual world. Your website could offer information about your products and services, blogs about your business, special offers and needs to be designed with a number of clever ideas specifically for your business.
4. Social Media Which forms part of the virtual world for marketing also needs to be applicable for your business and remain consistent with all other aspects of the brand. The agency would be able to guide you with this and assist you with setting it up initially, run with it for a pre determined time and hand over to you when you feel comfortable to carry on alone.
5. Design and Print There will be times, when design and printing will become necessary, and the agency, (which will have your designs on record), will be able to assist with any further designs, edits to current material and be in a position to have these printed as well. As your business grows, it may require more exciting ways of marketing, which can be suggested and created by the agency.
6. Marketing Plans With an effective Marketing Plan, which the agency can assist you develop, your marketing is planned for the year including the budgets required, and is carefully planned and rolled out, so that it alleviates ‘knee jerk reaction marketing’ when sales decline.
In short, the type of agency you need to consider offers you, the business owner and holistic, fully rounded solution to getting your business to grow and develop!