Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are great when it comes to creative and innovative ideas but their main challenge is effective marketing and what a shoestring budget is typically. SMEs need to understand that efforts need to be proportional to the size of the deal. They should not always go for the cheaper option – the important issue is to ensure that marketing strategy is right for your brand.
When cash is tight, the temptation can be to go for the cheapest option-through low

cost business cards, websites and social networking. Alternatively, Small business can try to do

everything at once with a scattergun approach hoping that something works rather than

employing a carefully considered strategy.

These problems are common. However as the most things in business, you will find

research, planning and evaluation always pay off. Some discussions on these:

Planning : Research your competitors and your market. Think market as “Physical People”. Eco consultancy is a fantastic resource for marketing data.

Set Objectives : Set objective for every bit of marketing and give timings and measurement of success. Website printed work success is monitored and altered. Tools such as the free Google Analytics work very well.

Get to know some local suppliers and become an expert: Local business might be able to service you much better. Adopt social networking to establish yourself as an expert in your field. Give high value content and advice to help your ascension to expert status.

Some Practical tips to boost the business

Recognize prospects early on in the sales cycle. Avoid being over optimistic and emotional.

Efforts Proportional to likely deal size, overselling or too frequent sales pitches can have just opposite reaction from perspective customers, and turn you into a nuisance.

Enlist References From Your Happy Customers Request happy customers for their testimonials for your product / service and post these on the social network as references.

Nullify Any Negative Perceptions or Competitive Disadvantages of your set up Most SMEs fall into trap of doing this by bad mouthing their being competitors. You lose being trustworthy.

Rain check to see if there are any flanks still not covered.

Prior to getting into any deal closure stage, you need to see if there are any areas that have not been covered by you. In today’s market situation, areas relating to risk management, cost savings or service excellence receive higher priority from customers and your proposal should cover these and highlight the benefits clearly for them.

Ferret the customer’s actual requirements

Often, there’s quite a smokescreen put up by the prospective customer to hide their real requirement or the price they are willing to avail / buy your services. Finding these out are key to a successful sales closure within a reasonable time frame and requires the SME to pick up on all their detective traits they developed while reading the stories of Arthur Conan Doley and Agatha Christie during their early years.

Overall, remember that marketing is one of the more fun aspects of running a business. Ultimately it is about telling people how great your business is but do not by to do everything at once. Plan it, strategies with objectives using these tips; you will find success at your door.

Article contributed by:

<p>Lt Col Prem Anand (Retd)<br />

General Manager,<br />

Deccan Chamber Of Commerce Industries & Agriculture Pune.</p>

<p>Email :</p>

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