One of the most frequent lines that I hear from small business owners/entrepreneurs is “who has time to market”? I sure can understand that – hell, if I had my way, we would have 48 hour days and only need to sleep for 4 of these!
Now believe me when I tell you that I am no expert on marketing – I seriously am not! That said, I know that it is of vital importance to get your product or service out there. If you don’t, you will have a problem and it will affect your bottom line.
Here’s the thing though, you don’t have to spend a fortune to market yourself and it doesn’t have to take up hours and hours of your precious time, but you do have to make some time for it. So book the time in your diary and have a plan. Every day we take part in time consuming activities and integrating those activities with a marketing opportunity may just be the key to solving your problem. Here are a few ideas to make marketing a tad easier for the small business owner who is always on the go.
Shopping ‘out and about’.
Whether we are conscious of it or not, we meet new people on a daily basis. Think about it for a moment. How many times have you found yourself frustrated, but still standing in the queue? For me, the bank and the post office or even the annual trip to renew the motor vehicle license, are the most challenging! How many times, in a moment of mutual frustration have you turned to a stranger in that queue and started a conversation? I know I have, and although the conversation usually starts with a moan about how long the queue is or how slowly it is moving, it usually morphs into something else. Remember to introduce yourself and tell them what you do, find out what they do – give them a business card (you see, I told you, you never know when you would need one) and then keep in touch. You’ll be amazed at some of the business you will get out of this kind of encounter.
Reading an Article
By now it must be evident that I really enjoy reading . . . a lot. I understand that there are many people out there that perhaps, are not as passionate about reading as I am. That said, as SMME’s, a certain amount of reading is kind of obligatory if you are to keep up. Whether it is a newspaper article or an article that is related to the industry that you are in or even an article that sparks your interest on a personal level. Now take a minute to think of a few people who are in your network who may enjoy the contents of that particular article and send it to them. Personalize it with a note saying something along the lines of ‘when I read this, I thought it might be something that you would like to read to’. Doing this will just take a few moments out of your time, but the impression that it creates and the value that you add to the relationship that you have with that person(s) is priceless – every time they speak to someone who needs your service or product, they will think of you before anyone else.
Next time, I will share a few more of the types of ways that you can integrate some marketing in your daily life.