The importance of marketing in a small business is often over looked by the small business owners due to the confusion between marketing and advertising. Often I will hear a small business owner say that he never does any marketing, if that were true then the owner would have no business at all.

Marketing is about letting the public know about any activity your business is currently undertaking, what makes your small business special, what your unique selling proposition is and what encourages your customers to buy from you. Where as advertising is about trying to sell your products and services to new clients.

A successful small business owner should be incorporating a marketing strategy as part of their daily business routines. You must have a clear understanding as to what your customers want and how to communicate to them that you provide that quality of service and product.

Quite simply if you do not tell your customers about your products and services then how will they know what you have to offer or to buy and this is the importance of marketing your small business.

The strategy of marketing is broken into four distinct areas and they are:

1. Why do your customers want to do business with you?
2. How do your customers identify you?
3. What makes your business unique to your competitors?
4. What advertising are you doing to encourage your customers to buy from you?

Every day you should be working on these four distinct marketing areas. The strategy I recommend each small business owner do is to identify what you can do each day on these distinct areas.

For example: ask yourself the question…Why do your customers want to do business with you?

Potential responses could be:

1. I am easy to talk to
2. I am approachable for information
3. We have great credit terms
4. We have a great returns policy

Okay, so above are four really quick possible responses. Now that you have these what you need to do is to use that information to improve your marketing. If we first take the fourth response, the first activity for you to do is to have a look around your office and check to see if your returns policy is up on the wall. If the answer is no, then your first marketing activity is to put your returns policy up on the wall so that everyone can see what your policy is.

Response 1 and 2 says that you are easy to talk to and approachable; what marketing strategies could you use for these two responses?

Well why not get a full size picture of yourself posted up on the wall encouraging your customers to ask you or one of your staff for help on any problem they have. Again this is in-store marketing that says you are approachable and will help your customers. This form of marketing builds on the values of your business.

You can also use this strategy in your advertising as well. When you are advertising your product with latest products and services ensure that you let customers know of your returns policy and that you will help them with their issues.

Marketing your small business is so much more than just advertising and as a small business owner you really need to be investing time every day in marketing your business to ensure you are able to grow your business into the business you will be proud of.