January 2020 (Vol. 34, No. 1)

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THE GOAL OF MARKETING IS TO CONNECT YOUR BUSINESS’ VALUE TO THE RIGHT CUSTOMER BASE. IT MAY SEEM DAUNTING BUT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE HARD OR EXPENSIVE. By Michele Chiappetta

Keeping a small business solvent means more than doing work and getting paid; it also means finding new clients and bringing in leads. That requires marketing. But many small-business owners don’t know much about the art of getting their name out and finding the right customers. Even if they do, the average small business doesn’t have a huge budget to throw at billboards, TV ads, and other options. You have to promote the business somehow. But it’s not always easy to know which marketing method is most likely to get results. And how do you do it in a way that earns

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you a good return on your advertising dollars? That’s where someone like Matthew Maennche of Maennche Virtual CMO can help. Maennche came into marketing by a nontraditional route, using his background as a software developer initially to look at data and trends, and assist people with their websites. But the more he did so, the more he realized how many small businesses needed help with marketing. “For a small business, the moment you hang that, (We’re open) sign, you’re competing with everyone,” he says. In today’s

world, competitors can include anyone from anywhere — the mom-and-pop shop next door, a business in a neighboring state, even global companies doing what you do. “There’s a lot more competition, but small businesses often know the least about marketing because they’re new. So, I focus on helping small businesses understand how all the pieces fit together [ for effective marketing].” A firm believer that small businesses deserve the tools to succeed, Maennche teaches many continuing education classes each year, including how to market a business on a small budget. Here

are some of his tips for low-cost and no-cost actions a business can take to promote themselves and reach more customers.

DEVELOP A CLEAR STRATEGY Marketing is a scary area for most businesses. As a result, many business owners let it slide. That’s a mistake, says Maennche. “A solid marketing strategy is the difference between success and failure for a small business.”

KNOW YOUR IDEAL CLIENT Rather than work for anyone who will pay you, concentrate