Marketing Your Business

Marketing is crucial for small business owners. But sometimes business owners approach marketing in a haphazard fashion, adding a new element to their marketing mix without stopping to think about whether it makes sense their our overall business goals. Think of your marketing plan as kind of business plan for your marketing. If you're a startup, a marketing plan should be part of your overall business plan. If you’re beyond the startup stage, you still need a marketing plan to set the stage for your efforts throughout the year. 

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Make a Marketing Plan

Marketing takes time, money, and preparation. One of the best ways to stay on schedule and on budget is to make a marketing plan. It describes the actions you’ll take to persuade potential customers to buy your products or services. Your business plan should contain the central elements of your marketing strategy. Your marketing plan turns your strategy into action.

Think about your plan as a list of topics to cover: target a specific market; find your competitive advantage; devise a sales plan; set marketing and sales goals; create a marketing action plan; and decide on a budget.

Over time, measure and update your plan so that you know it's effective and still working for you. Some tactics are hard to measure  — like print advertising or word-of-mouth campaigns. Get creative and use others’ advice, but be consistent in how you measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. Marketing plans should be maintained on an annual basis, at minimum. Measuring ROI will help you know which part of the plan is working and which part needs to be updated.

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Build a Mailing List

Did you know that you can create mailing lists and sales call lists for your B2B sales needs using one of Charleston County Public Library’s databases–for free?

ReferenceUSA contains over 24 million US businesses. It has extremely flexible search options and allows you to download records for your own use. This short video demonstrates how the process works.

To get started, visit ReferenceUSA or go to our database list, scroll down to ReferenceUSA and choose Home Access. You’ll need a valid CCPL library card in order to search the database outside of the library.

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How to Build and Download a List of Businesses

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