By Shirley Hermiston, Business Support Manager
So, you’ve decided to take the bold move of launching a business – you have a name, you have a brand and you have the products or services you’re going to be selling.
So far, so good. The next step, however, is often the hardest and most daunting part of starting out on your own: how do I market myself and get my name out there?
Marketing is pivotal to business success. A good marketing plan will ensure a steady flow of customers and play a key role in building a sustainable business.
Many people are scared of the term ‘marketing’ – whether that’s the perceived cost of advertising or simply a lack of understanding of what marketing is, many are put off. However, marketing your start-up doesn’t necessarily have to cost the earth and is not an industry shrouded by smoke and mirrors.
Most start-up businesses are bootstrapped by their founders and are often built and run on shoestring budgets.
So, how do you market yourself with little to no cash?
Firstly, create an online presence…and you’d be surprised how easy this is!
There are a whole host of websites out there designed to help people of all skill levels build free websites. Our go-to sites tend to be Wix, Webnode and Weebly but there are hundreds out there, a quick Google search will open you to a whole new world.
Also, by setting up branded proactive social media accounts, you can begin connecting with like-minded businesses and potential customers and start spreading the word about what you’re doing, completely free of charge.
Secondly, we recommend reaching out to those closest to you in order to help spread the word of your new, exciting venture.
Friends, family and former colleagues will have been listening to you talk about your idea for weeks, months or even years before you decided to bite the bullet and go it alone, so who better to help spread the word than the people who know your idea inside-out?!
By asking them to try, review and share their experiences of your produce/service, word will quickly start to spread of what you’re doing – especially if you’re a business working in a niche area/sector.
Thirdly, network. By surrounding yourself with like-minded businesses and potential customers, you never know what opportunities you’ll discover.
Not only will you garner valuable feedback from target audiences but you’ll also gain insight into how businesses of a similar size successfully get their names out there.
Collaboration is key and by liaising with other start-up entrepreneurs, you’ll soon start to develop and utilise skills you never knew you had. The possibilities are endless!
Inspired by what you’ve read? We offer free workshops and one-to-one support, so if you’re looking to start a business or tap into support for a business you’ve recently launched, then why not get in touch with the team at the BIC.
Embrace the support available to you and come and chat to our friendly team on 0191 516 6111 or request a call back.