Small to mid-sized independent company owners, for example, may carry all of the trendiest merchandise, have a strong customer service personnel, and meet the requirements of the community by accepting EBT cards (the modern-day equivalent of food stamps).
All of this is impressive, but if customers are unaware of it, it may be for nothing. As a result, having a strong, well-thought-out marketing plan is critical to an independent business owner’s success.
“Before starting a small business, entrepreneurs should create a marketing strategy. It’s never too late to create a marketing strategy if your store opened without one,” said Elie Katz, president and CEO of National Retail Solutions.. “You must be aware of your aims and vision before deciding how to market your items. That is why developing a mission statement is the first step in the process.”
A mission statement clarifies what your primary market is and how you contribute to it. A business mission statement, according to Chris Bart, a McMaster University professor of strategy and governance, consists of three fundamental components: serving customers by delivering products and services, what makes your products special, and why buyers should buy them over others. It’s essentially a description of your store’s mission.
“A marketing mission statement will cover what you’re selling, how you intend to promote it, and the activities you’ll take to achieve your objectives,” Katz said. “A mission statement should be short and to-the-point. It’s a road map to success that assists business owners in focusing on the cornerstone of their marketing strategy.”
It is important to research the competition once you’ve developed your mission statement and started thinking about implementing your marketing approach. They might have the same marketing strategy. The dilemma then becomes how to make your plan stand out from the competition and attract clients.
“Once you have a great marketing strategy in place, you must regularly review it to see if it is still effective or if it needs to be tweaked,” Katz said. “Keep track of how many people come into your store and whether they buy the things you’re selling. If they buy different things, you might want to reconsider the products you’re promoting more prominently.”
For example, you might sell the same product at a reduced price, or you could tie the item in with other products that are also on sale. Make sure your demographics are taken into account in your marketing strategy: Your in-store signs and marketing should be in both Spanish and English if you operate in a predominantly Spanish-speaking community. Look for goods that are one-of-a-kind. Vegetables may be found in any little grocery store. Examine the competition to discover if there are any products that you can offer that no one else can. From vibrant signs in the front of the store and relevant lanes to putting things in better locations than competitors, make sure your marketing plan stands out and attracts customers.
According to Katz, analytics also entails keeping track of inventory to ensure that you have the products that consumers want and that you are not understocking or overstocking. Making a marketing push on things that aren’t in stock when a customer needs them is awkward, to say the least. It also leads to dissatisfied customers who are unlikely to return once the item is back in stock. They’ll have previously purchased it from a competitor. Keep track of item sales by season so you know when to stock up on key things. Examine the ledger. Your marketing strategy must yield a positive return on investment. Otherwise, you’re squandering your money on a plan that won’t pay off.
“It’s critical to keep track of the progress of your marketing strategy. Since the strategy is unlikely to be perfect, you’ll have to make alterations on the fly and rapidly,” Katz said. “A busy store and greater profitability can be achieved by developing a clear goal statement, adopting a marketing plan and assessing it periodically, and knowing how and when to adjust the plan.”