When any business starts up, it needs to find a customer base, so as to enable it to establish a foothold on the economical opportunities that are available. Naturally, there are many different types of business, and each one has to create a business plan which suits its purposes.
Of recent, and being specific to companies who rely to some extent on the internet for their income, there has been a growing trend to criticise the search engines who provide results when a search query is made. In support of the search engines, they continuously update their results, by means of crawling the world wide web, and they provide the excellent results for any given search enquiry.
This is not to say that businesses who use the internet should rely fully on the search engines, as unless the business is prepared to pay for special listings to be displayed on the front page of a search engine, there is no guarantee that their website content will be shown within the first results pages that are given for any search query.
Diversification of marketing methods is of prime importance in any business, but is of absolute necessity when including the internet, as there are billions of web pages, and massive competition for the top search listings. How a company diversifies, to some degree depends on the budget they have available.
Pay per click advertising on the internet can be a useful source for finding targeted customers. However, to diversify, it is important to consider other options also. There are two basic types of marketing, free and paid for. Once again, the search engines on the internet provide an invaluable amount of free advertising. Word of mouth, or mentioning your business to friends, or at business conventions, is another example. Maintaining good public relations with existing customers is yet another. To keep customers informed of changes, new products, updates, price changes, offers, can provide a considerable increase in revenue, but also makes your customer realise that you care about them.
To diversify fully, marketing has to be tailored to suit any given company’s needs. Some marketing opportunities could be applied to the majority of companies, once again depending on available budget. These could include local or national press advertising, television and radio advertising, mail and email drops, flyers and leaflets, exhibitions and conferences, targeted internet advertising and so on.
All business’s want to take full advantage of their niche and to diversify ensures not only non-reliance on a single marketing outlet, but also provides an opportunity of reaching a far greater audience. The final aim is to provide services or goods to satisfied customers, and however it is achieved there is always scope for expanding the opportunities.
The challenges are immense for any new business, and the future of any business who wants success, will inevitably come from a foundation that has been carefully thought out, planned, and the viabilities of such a project considered, prior to any financial commitment. The far reaching availability of worldwide access, via the internet, means that there is a far greater marketing area than ever before. However, it is important to consider geographical location when marketing. Expansion should be done in stages. By creating a successful local or nationwide business, the opportunity to look further afield can be much healthier. Although it is not impossible to start a worldwide business with the internet as a base, by creating a sound business within a confined area, overall control is much easier, and apart from the barriers of language and legislation, there is validity in building a small and successful enterprise, prior to expanding too rapidly. Nevertheless, it can also be said that if an opportunity exists whereby world access to a business is viable, then it should not be overlooked, as long as the necessary measurements for control, legislation, language and development are considered.
Investment in a business comes in two forms; time and money. Once the money has been laid out in setting up the business, there are ongoing costs to consider. Therefore a good business plan is necessary, so ensure that budgets are maintained. The time and effort put into any business, as well as the financial investment, are the backbone to running any successful business. The first months can be extremely difficult in terms of return on time and investment, but the longer term satisfaction in running a successful business far outweighs the initial stresses. Providing services or goods together with a healthy relationship with your customers can be an extremely rewarding experience.
Paul Bryant is Chairman of http://www.wamee.com, UK shopping for new and used classifieds. He has considerable experience in business, and a strong belief in planning.