Mostly Everything

Why advertising is vital for your small business

You know you have a great product or service that lots of people will love, but how do you get the word out there about your offering? And how can you convince others to give it a try?

Advertising has always played a major role in attracting new customers and getting repeated sales. However, getting your strategy spot on isn’t easy, and many business owners find themselves feeling disgruntled when their advertising efforts and spending don’t bring in more sales.

Having a focussed message
One of the reasons why small businesses often fail to establish an effective advertising strategy is because they haven’t come up with a clear message for their customers. According to former Dragon and entrepreneur James Caan, advertising should be specific and targeted, and it should bring together the collective message of your brand.
In choosing how to advertise your business, you need to research, and take into account your market, customers, as well as your product or service.

Marketing your small business is much more complicated than simply buying an ad in your medium of choice. Successful advertising requires that you influence the habits, thoughts and perceptions of others, which takes a lot of time, planning and creativity.

How to deal with your advertising budget… or lack of
In reality, most small businesses simply don’t have enough working capital for advertising spend. Although cash loans could be used to fund growth strategies, many owners are left in the cold when it comes to accessing cash loans and other credit facilities. Therefore, when facing an unexpected payment or a finance gap, small business owners often turn to loan companies like Wonga who provide timely cash loans solutions.

However, you can still implement an advertising strategy even if you have a limited budget. And you need to – as James Caan says, you don’t have a business until people are aware of it. If you can’t afford to place ads of a sufficient size and repetition in the local newspaper, radio station and other mass media, try starting out with relationship marketing instead.
This means taking clients out to lunch, making thank you calls, writing thank you notes, and getting a membership to your local chamber and commerce other community organisations.

Focus on an area, medium or market
Another mistake often made by small business owners is that they spread themselves too thin. Rather than spending their advertising budget in one area, medium or market that’s important to the business, they put a bit of money and effort here and a bit there, hoping they would reap some reward from their scattered approach.
Although it might seem a good idea to advertise your business in all mediums and platforms, but unless you have a big advertising budget to do a proper job, the money you spend on each medium will not be significant enough to make an impact. In other words, rather than marketing in an insignificant way in a newspaper, radio and TV, you might be better off putting your money on just one marketing channel. You can add another medium later on, but only when you can afford to do it properly.

By Jayvee Fernandez

Jayvee Fernandez is a tech enthusiast, EAN certified SCUBA Diver and underwater photographer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. His photos and videos have appeared in various international and local publications including Random House Germany, Discovery Channel Canada, and CNN.

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