By Bobby Drakulic-A Week Away
A week away gave me some perspective last week. As some of you may know, I actually took a vacation to the Myrtle area in South Carolina last week. We usually don’t take a “yearly” vacation like many do, but when we do I tune out for a week…if possible.
Taking a week away from Pennsylvania, and all the craziness that is our state, allowed me to take in life elsewhere. On the trip down and back I noticed a few things that really got me thinking. We’ll get to that soon.
However, I’d like to share a few fun things we did do. Firstly, I fished. I fished like a mad man! That is my favorite all time thing to do at the ocean. Nothing clears my mind more than taking a few hours to battle the elements and the powerful ocean fish. From my perspective, it is a meditative experience like no other. I always come back more clear headed and relaxed, even if the bite is off.
Secondly, we enjoyed crab legs. Another all time favorite of mine. If you visit the Myrtle Beach area and like seafood, try Captain George’s Seafood Restaurant. Visit here https://captaingeorges.com. Highly recommend. The crab legs were fantastic! The rest of the buffet looked awesome too, but admittedly crab is all I ate…and lots of them!
Next, I practiced my Kung Fu. Every single day on the beach or balcony for at least twenty minutes to an hour. The consistent practice helps me stay disciplined, balanced, and focused both mentally and physically. Something I feel very strongly about is staying in shape (as much as I can) and on top of my trainings.
Finally, we relaxed. Man, did my mind need that! We hung out on the beach and balcony most of the week. This included boogie boarding, swimming, digging in the sand, and of course some adult beverages.
The point of all this?
I’ll be making my point on this blog soon, so be sure to read on. However, I’m going to go full on geek first and share a few vacation photos below:
How does any of this relate to a marketing business?
It doesn’t. I just felt like adding some images and my little vacation story to draw your eyes down here…
The real reason I am writing this blog is because, as mentioned above, I noticed a few things during the trip. I did not like what I saw either. It was closed businesses.
It got me thinking.
On the drive both ways, I noticed entirely too many empty business shops. Some looked recently vacated. Some seemed to be out of business long ago. Either way, I noticed these and it made my heart hurt. Owning a small business is a difficult thing. It’s not easy. We know that as well as anyone too.
I’m not sure of the cause of these closures. I’ll admit that first and foremost. What I do know is that small business across our great country has been decimated in the last several months. Mismanagement? Maybe. Low sales? Probably. Did Covid play a hand in some of these closures? By the looks of things, probably, in at least a few.
Even if I don’t like the business, feel that it’s overly expensive, or I am not confident in their service, I certainly don’t wish failure on it. Every small business owner has mouths to feed and regular payments to make like almost everybody else.
So, avoiding small business failure is hard. A lot depends on what you offer, how well, pricing, the market you are in, management of the business, and many other factors. There is one thing that can help. Yep, I’m saying it, marketing.
Despite all the hardships business owners face, marketing is one thing that can help tremendously. Some of the world’s worst businesses in my eyes (worst is subjective though) still do well. Why? They advertise and market like crazy.
You know them. Big corporate places that sometimes make you feel unimportant as a customer. They are all over the television, billboards, in magazines, pop up ads on Facebook etc. I don’t mean to bash corporations, they are just the most noticeable here. I’ll also reiterate that it’s not ALL just some. Each of us know who we’ve dealt with that stink, and who are good.
Your small business.
Competing with the millions or even billions of dollars that go into advertising of larger companies is another difficult hurdle. Smaller businesses may not have that capital. What can you do?
Take it to a local level. Start out small, test the waters on a local level and see how you do. Despite what many marketers say, it doesn’t have to cost a bundle to get the word out. Work with what you’ve got and expand from there. Just stay in front of customers regularly. Consistency is everything.
Below are some things you can do so that consumers can see and hear about your business and what you offer regularly:
- Social media. Devise a plan to share interesting stories, photos, and videos to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn or more. Social media engagement is way up right now too.
- Print ads. Many claim print is dead. We aren’t ready to throw in the towel on that just yet. Depending on the publication, service/product you offer, and a variety other aspects, print could be a huge help.
- Digital marketing. Remember when I said above “pop up ads on Facebook?” There is a wide range of digital marketing tactics you can try. Geofencing, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) to name a few.
- Radio ads. Yes we know, AM/FM isn’t what it used to be. On the other hand, radio can still be effective. You can also advertise on streaming services like Pandora or Spotify, etc. Create a catchy tune or slogan that people will remember long after they shut the radio off.
- Direct mail. This goes along with print but goes straight to peoples homes or businesses. You can design an attractive piece with a killer offer that will ultimately lead to more calls, emails, or sales. With direct mail you can also custom select areas and other demographics to get your pieces in the hands of the right customer.
We are big believers in the power of marketing, if done right. Don’t fail your business by not getting its message out concisely, effectively, and consistently. For the love of God, please don’t let me see anymore business storefronts closed like the image below.
If you need help, drop us a line. We’ll help any way we can. https://77designco.com