Marketing a small business can be a strain, not only on your time but also on your bank balance. Sometimes it’s worth taking a step back from it all to work out what’s working and what’s just costing you money.
Measure your return on investment
This can often be challenging without lots of expensive software but you can track which of you marketing efforts are working.
When people call you, simply ask where they heard of you. If they go on to buy a puppy, you can chalk that up as a sale for that particular source.
The easiest way to do this is to keep a spreadsheet of your marketing efforts. Make sure to include all the different forms of social media you use; any PR activity you’re doing; events you’ve attended; adverts you have online; and any adverts you have in the paper. Include the cost of each of these marketing activities on the spreadsheet.
When you make a sale through one of these methods, mark the sale amount next to the marketing activity. At the end of a month or a quarter (or when you’ve sold all the puppies in a litter), you’ll be able to see which marketing activities are bringing in real sales.
If there are some high-priced activities that haven’t brought in any sales, it might be worth getting rid of these and investing more money in the marketing that works.
Try your hand at public relations
Paying out for adverts in the local newspaper on a regular basis can get expensive. It might be better to go down the PR route as you’ll reach the same reader-base as an advert but all it costs is your time. Of course, it’s much harder to get a story in the newspaper than it is to get an advert.
Implement a multi-channel campaign
This might sound complicated or like a lot of work but it doesn’t need to be. All it means is that you run a number of marketing activities alongside one another to get the most bang for your buck.
You might not spend any more or less money but your marketing activity as a whole will have much more impact.
For example, when you know you have an advert about to go in the paper, send a press release to the editorial department about your puppies. You might even want to hold an event to show off your pups and what you do, this could be the basis for your press release. Not only will your advert tell people about your puppies for sale but the editorial piece and event will get people interested in your brand and really interacting with it.
If you’re looking for a graphic designer, for example, don’t just go with the first one you find. Look at three or four before making your final decision based on price and quality. The same goes for freelancers you work with or agencies who may take on some of your marketing.
Take some time to re-evaluate what you’re doing to promote your business as you may find the majority of your sales come from only a small portion of your marketing activity.