On Sale: Your Small Business

A couple weeks ago, my mum and I had a Mum/Daughter shopping day and I had not been to Grand Bazaar since the interchange was opened cause frankly, I did not know how to get in. lol. But in any event, we made and during our mummy/baby adventures, we checked out a new store - J&K Signature Styles, which had only opened at its second location that same week. Needless to say I got some very nice items in said store, but the real winner was the service and the marketing.

Many small business owners leave marketing of their business to chance. The photocopied flyers and word-of-mouth, though not dead, are simply not enough to push a new business into the mainstream. It takes some extra effort to make your business stand out and create that buzz and I loved how the owners of this store had gone about doing that. And it was nothing particularly earth shattering or innovative. Just a simple email and text message. After I laid out some serious cash, I was signed up for their customer loyalty programme, gave them my email address and my mobile number, and a gift card outlining the details of a promotion they would be having in a few weeks time. Of course, the little card went into my wallet never to be seen again, but a couple days ago, I got a text reminding me of said promotion and the dates. This morning I got an email. And that is how this small business will get me to come back and spend more money I should not be spending.

Sometimes when starting that business, when negotiating funding and the like, the stuff like marketing, PR and promotion get forgotten. But this is the most important thing and should be planned for. Press ads are expensive and depending on the size of your business, you may not yet be able to afford full or even half page ads which have consumer pulling power, but there are other ways - email marketing, text marketing, customer loyalty programmes, open house days etc. You can have the best stock, the best staff but if noone knows about you or think you're a cut above the rest, then noone is going to care about what you're offering. The cost of that text message was minimal; the email free - but the ROI on both have to be worth something, including customer awareness and loyalty and sales.

The key point to remember that in order to get sales, you have to be on sale. Don't sell yourselves short.


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