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Marketing for Small / Micro Business?

Updated: Jun 22, 2023

I am an artist and not a marketer. Does that mean I cannot make living from my art / skills?

This happens to be a common dilemma for scores of artists, handicraft designers, lifestyle services providers and many more. It's a shame that people who make life rather beautiful for others are more than often the ones that find it difficult to balance between their passion and making a living.

In this blogpost we would try to explain in simple words how marketing is essential to any kind of business. Also, we would spend some more inkspace in understanding in a simplified manner the basics of marketing and how it is doable for micro/small business owners.

Are you ready to break your barriers with Marketing?


What is Marketing?

Is Marketing important for micro/small businesses?

Seema makes some beautiful crochet products. She's well-appreciated in her friend circle and often gets small custom orders. However, the volume of work she receives is not enough to sustain her monthly expenses. Do you want to give her some suggestions?
Yes you are right. To make more money, she should make and sell more products.
While she can make more products by putting in additional hours of work, how can she possibly 'sell more'? She has a limited circle of acquaintances after all!
So to be able to 'sell more' she needs to reach out to people outside her acquaintance circle, i.e. strangers!

This process of reaching out to people, and suggesting a service or product that they can buy from you is Marketing!

Marketing is indeed very important for businesses of any scale. How would people buy from you if they do not know you are selling something?

Marketing is not an 'evil' that a small business owner should be wary of. It is an integral part of commerce that helps you develop and maintain a meaningful relationship between your potential and existing long as it is based on ethical practices.

What are the P's of Marketing?

Different sources will provide you with extensive information about the 'P's ' of marketing that a business owner should be aware of. The number of coveted 'P's' in all these articles can range from anything between 4 to 10. As a small / micro business owner, it would help to start your journey by focussing on 4 P's to begin with, i.e. Product, Price, Place & Promotion.

While Product is the most important pillar of any business, it is important here to understand that this is not product in the literal sense. Product is being used here as an umbrella term for any product or service you wish to sell in your business. Since this story is for the small business owners who are already masters of their 'Product' we will limit our conversation to other P's.

Place here refers to the mode of operating a business. This could be also known as a Business model in some references. You could be selling your Product/Service by any of the following modes:

  1. Brick and Mortar Store

  2. Social Media

  3. Marketplaces

  4. Exclusive Website

Each of these options have its pros and cons as evident in the video below.

Should I sell Online, Offline or at both places simultaneously?
What is being 'Omnipresent'?

A business is Omnipresent or Omnichannel when it is available at more than one platform. For ex. you could have your exclusive website but also sell through marketplaces like Amazon.

Promotion is another important aspect of marketing where the entrepreneur works on spreading the word about their service or products. Promotion for most businesses is multichannel and covers a range of online and offline activities like fliers, billboards, digital media like social media, free samples, kiosks for branding etc. A microbusiness can wisely choose between existing options of promotion by answering the following questions:

  1. Who are my customers?

  2. Where can I find my customers? (their profession, hobbies etc.)

  3. Where are my competitors promoting?

  4. How much promotional budget do I have?

  5. What are my specific promotion objectives at the moment?

Which one is better, Online or Offline Marketing?

It would not be wise to pass a verdict on how one is better than the other. As mentioned above, a business owner needs to understand the reach and utility of the 'product' in question; identify the end customer; find best ways of reaching out to that customer and then take a decision about channels of promotion. More than often your marketing strategy would be a combination of offline and online efforts.

Pricing is important to marketing as it is important part of getting the product/market fit right. While there are different methods of pricing the product, a microbusiness entrepreneur should carefully choose the pricing strategy keeping the following in mind:

  1. What pricing strategy is followed by my competitors/industry?

  2. Is my pricing conducive with 'Place'? It won't work if you offer snob-value model in a value-for money market environment and vice-versa.

  3. Can my typical customer afford my price?

This summarises the 4 most important 'Ps' of marketing. Once these 4 have been acheived, it would be worth looking at others like People, Process, Physical evidence etc.

Should I hire Marketing experts for my Small/Micro Business?

There is no doubt that professional marketers can make life easy for entrepreneurs. However, this ease comes at a cost often not affordable by small / micro business entrepreneurs. There are some valuable tips that can help small entrepreneurs take charge of their marketing activities themselves till they are able to pay 3rd party providers for these services.

  1. Use free versions of content design online programs like Canva, Pixlr X to design engaging content for promoting your business

  2. Increase productivity with automated marketing calendars/schedulers like Later. These online calendars can help you schedule your social media posts in a coordinated manner and post them automatically without regular intervention.

  3. Utilise email marketing automation for maintaining relationships with existing customers. You could be automating regular emails like 'Abandoned Cart reminders', 'Thank you for your order', 'Your order has been shipped', Çustomer feedback' etc.

  4. Use WhatsApp or Facebook chat features as instant messaging tools on your website

  5. Utilise the power of social media for marketing, performance marketing & content marketing.

  6. Indulge in offline marketing techniques like occasional kiosks, free workshops, free samples etc.

While marketing for micro businesses can sound daunting at the beginning, there are enough tools and technology available to make it easy for small entrepreneurs. It is advisable to break out of mental barriers and make a start with simple, ethical marketing activities that can turn your passion into a meaningful livelihood!

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22 thg 6, 2023
Đã xếp hạng 5/5 sao.

Very well-written in simple format, easy to understand

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