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Small Business Strategy Consulting – 4 Tips to Help Your Business Grow

February 17, 2010

So you plan on starting a consulting business on your own. You want to consult using the internet because it is global and that is where the future business lies. You want to sell a product or service that you think is equal to others in the same category or maybe it is better than the others. The only problem is that you do not know how to market the product primarily because you are starting your venture on a limited budget, therefore having very little or no money for marketing. In a case like this, how would you promote and advertise your product or service to show that you bring value the market?

Commonly, marketing budgets should be about 2% to 5% of the overall gross sales, but this varies by markets and products. The first step in how you plan starting your consulting business is to figure out what your marketing budget would be for the first six months.

The following promotion activities could be used to start – internet marketing, industry events, aggressive advertising, strategic partnerships, public relations, internet marketing, word of mouth, and direct marketing. If you are starting a consulting business on a low budget, the following marketing methods can be very effective and low cost:

Internet marketing – Get people familiar with your product or service through internet articles and blog posts. Most organizations actively use their blogs to amass awareness for their products and services. This is an extremely inexpensive and hassle free exercise. Furthermore you can market your product or service via social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Communicate with your audience about new services, product enhancements, discounts and other new advancements in your business.

Get a Website of Your Product or Service – These are easy to do today and are a relatively inexpensive way to establish a presence on the internet. For example WordPress allows you to combine both functionality of a blog and website pages to optimize your internet marketing efforts. Making a website of your product or service gives you a better chance to explain the value you provide to millions of eyeballs every day.

Word- Of – Mouth – Get your individual network to spread the word about your product or service. This is the most practical and cost-effective way to advertise. Get your friends and colleagues together for a small gathering or an online webinar and introduce your product or service to them. Keep in mind not to sell too much – you are raising awareness and showing that you can provide value to others!

Direct Marketing – Go for direct marketing when you are starting a consulting business instead of going for expensive marketing options such as Pay-Per-Click. Stay direct by keeping your target audience limited and targeted. This way you reach them in the most practical and the cost-effective way. As an example, fliers found inside newspapers and informative email campaigns are two inexpensive direct marketing tools.

Newspaper Articles – You can get articles published in a newspaper that talk about your product in a extended manner. For example, if you are selling a consulting service, the article can be about the value of a consulting service in a particular niche such as start up businesses. The article can also have a word or two from a well known person in your industry that believes in your type of service.

You will eventually need to have a more focused and tighter marketing strategy to promote your product and services. While all these could be effective marketing techniques that you can use when you start a business, you should put aside a small part of your profits every month for your marketing budget. Use your marketing budget accordingly, and track of the results religiously. A marketing method should be dropped if it does not give you the numbers you need to build your business.

When you are starting a consulting business or any business on your own, you may be on a very limited budget. This is complicated by the fact that you need to promote or advertise your service in order to build the business so you can increase your budget. Plan to use low cost effective marketing methods to build your initial marketing capital and raise the awareness about your product and service that you need in order to take your business to the next level.

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