Spreading the word out

You’ve set your
business up, you’ve hired all the right people. Now, how do you get the word
out to the public about your business?

For one man marketing
is more than just shouting about your wares; that, in fact, is sales, said
Dready artist, Shane Aquart.

“Marketing is really
the entire process from manufacture to point of sale and beyond. You must buy
well, ship well, provide good customer service and a strong visual presence –
then sell, sell, sell, sell,” he explained.

A strong visual
presence, indeed, is the essence of Dready, the increasingly-ubiquitous
cartoon/artwork built round primary colours and Caribbean characterisations. Dready
art has been utilised by a number of people, from Red Stripe to the Cotton Tree
Hotel. It is unique in that it is a strong brand which is in and of itself;
every Dready piece essentially serves as a marketing pull for every other
piece.

 

Universal techniques

Small businesses can
take advantage of a few universal techniques to spread the word about the
product, said marketing consultant Tom McCallum of McCallum solutions.

“Irrespective of
location, it’s critical that you know who you are, what business you’re in,
what product you offer and what it means to the customer. All too often you see
entrepreneurs think that they have a product that people want because it’s cool
or it’s new but they must be very sure that they do their market research
before they even get into having a business. Just because you think it’s a
great idea doesn’t mean there’s a market for your product. That stuff is
critical, wherever you are.

“Cayman is a small
environment – remember to be out there, network, talk to people. Join organisations;
make sure people know you’re out there, face to face and person to person.
Knock on doors, shake hands, have a coffee, Anyone going into business here
would probably already know a lot of people so let people you know know what
you’re doing. Be old school – do it face to face, on the phone,” says McCallum.

Other elements such
as having an email address for your own company domain, setting up a website no
matter how simple – or outsourcing – and looking at appropriate advertising in
local papers, websites and yellow pages. A company branding should flow through
all of this, he noted.

Work the media

Social media such as
Facebook, Twitter and more can also be important ways to let the world know
about your company, your product and your activities, says Debbie Hand of
graphic design, advertising, promotion and publishing company Wigglypen.

“Social media is
up-and-coming; I don’t know how many small businesses know how to fully take
advantage of it. Maybe nobody fully does but we’re all learning. It is
ultra-important to have a website; it doesn’t just need to be updated, it needs
to be current, informative and does not need to overwhelm,”

She said that
businesses come to the company wanting a website but with no idea as regards
what to put on there, not the best strategy as the businesses themselves are
the experts and understand their product or service, rather than the designer
of the site.

“Small businesses
probably all know by now to have their stationery and business cards [branded].
I always recommend my clients send out a newsletter, at least one attached to
their website. There are clients and people interested in your service who are
going to want to read it. A logo is also very important; potential clients are
sizing up whether they want to do business with you and producing a memorable
icon on a business card can work wonders

“I also recommend
small businesses send out their business cards in anything. If they’re paying a
bill, send a card out in the bill. You never know who might be reading it and
might be interested in your service. It’s also a good idea to have articles in
newspapers or magazines related to your industry,” she noted.

Hand also points out
that the Small Business Association was an excellent place to connect, network
and also learn and pegged the Cayman Islands Department of Commerce and
Investment as a resource with great information on how to get the word out.

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