Loud and proud

Take on the role of marketing and see your business grow

Marketing happens when your business communicates with your consumer audience in a way that aims to make your business or products more valuable, or to make the public more aware of your business and products.

As a small business owner, maybe you think it's too difficult and expensive to do marketing. You couldn't be more wrong. There are a number of tips and techniques that you can use to get the word out about your business. Start marketing today and you'll see your business grow.

Give things away

Marketing happens when your business communicates with your consumer audience in a way that aims to make your business or products more valuable, or to make the public more aware of your business and products.

People in South Africa's growing craft beer industry often grow their business by attending shows and markets to give their product away. Once customers have had a free taste of these delicious beverages, they will try to find places that stock it. If you don't have a unique product of your own to give away, you can partner with brewers (for example) and stock products that other places don't, giving your place it's own special flavour.

Attend networking events

Become a master networker. Attends and be present at every retail event in town. By contributing to the community, you can develop a reputation as a go-to person in your area of expertise. You will also be marketing your business in person.

Create your own event

Maybe the events out there are not right for your type of business. Maybe your township just doesn't have events. Why not invent your own? The Spotong Women In Business event has grown enormously in two years and has become a must for women township traders to learn from each other. You, too, could form an association with fellow traders and host something to help grow the community.

Volunteer to lead an organisation

The way to get the most out of a group or organisation is to take the lead. The president of the South African Spaza and Tuckshop Association, Rose Nkoni, has rubbed elbows and connected with some of the brightest minds in business, thanks to her efforts in profiling the organisation.

Be helpful

If you are good at doing something that others struggle with, you can boost your reputation by lending a helping hand. For example, most small business owners struggle when it comes to getting their finances in line. By sharing your expertise on Facebook or Twitter, you can make a name for yourself and maybe find some clients.

Send a weekly e-mail

The simplest way to keep in touch with your customers is to create a weekly e-mail that contains something of value. Whether it's this week's special offer, some motivational advice, or a business lesson you have learnt, your weekly e-mail gives your customers that something extra to look forward to.

Support a cause

Make a name for yourself in the community by doing something for others. Whether it is supporting the elderly, making donations to the local school or providing youngsters with work experience at your establishment, giving is the gift that keeps on giving back in return. If you sponsor an organisation such as a youth club and your product resonates with them, you will get marketing exposure whenever the organisation sends an email and you will get a mention every time they meet.