Marketing

Who is your customer?

Marketing is not about chasing any customer at any given price. You have to decide which groups of customers (called segments) are most attractive to the business and are most likely to boost profits. Identifying your market segment involves dividing the market into groups of similar consumers and choosing the most appropriate group for your business. Segmentation is done on the basis of size, profit potential and ...
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Creating loyal customers

Many small businesses spend a lot of time, effort and money into growing their customer base. Yes, this is crucial to your livelihood, but how much time do you spend looking after the customers that consistently come back to you? Attracting a large volume of clients and customers with flashy advertising and discounting should not necessarily be your ultimate. No matter what gimmicks you use, numbers can dwindle depending on the season, the econo...
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Getting to know your target market

To ensure that your business idea stands out from the rest, it is important to know your target market. This can be done by considering the following questions first: Is the market saturated? Does your area really need the services you are offering? What is the competition offering? What do they do well? What’s unique about them? Can you reach your target audience? Once you are sure of your business idea, you need informa...
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In the business jungle, standing out is a matter of survival

The occasional description of the business world as a jungle is apt in many ways, not least because the frantic competition between plants to reach the sunlight above the jungle canopy is very similar to the struggle of businesses to stand out from the mass of their competitors. Nowadays the competition is more intense than before, says Anton Roelofse, regional general manager of Business Partners Limited (BUSINESS/PARTNERS), because the inter...
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Three ways to give you tourism business an edge in a cut-throat market

As South Africa stands at the threshold of receiving more than ten million foreign travellers for the first time this year, the tourism industry as a whole deserves a pat on the back for achieving continued growth despite the global slump. Yet individual tourism businesses can be forgiven for not breaking out the champagne just yet. Conditions are still tough for tourism businesses, says Business Partners executive director Gerrie van Biljon. ...
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Marketing your business effectively

The world has changed, nothing is a given any more, not even an effective marketing strategy of the past. Habits and trends are different and the way consumers think and buy is different. Technology has progressed in leaps and bounds. To market your business effectively, you need to be on top of all of this. In the past you told the customer, now they tell you. They want choices and they want to make the decisions. No longer can you “tel...
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Any business owner can master successful networking

Here is some good news for business owners who are more comfortable with machines and production processes than with people: successful networking with people is every bit as systematic as networking with computers. “You don’t have to be Miss Congeniality to network successfully with potential clients, suppliers and business associates,” says Corene Marx, marketing manager at Business Partners. All that is required is a strategy, some dedic...
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Ten tips for marketing your business

Marketing tends to be seen by many business owners as a soft function, one of the first spending areas to be cut when times are tough. But of course it is not only one of the most vital functions of a business, but, counter-intuitively, the slower the economy, the more your investment in your marketing effort needs to be. Fortunately, the investment does not have to be cash – you can cut your marketing budget provided you increase your marketi...
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Networking is good for business

While it's been around for a long time, more and more small business owners are now realising the value of networking as a tool to marketing their businesses. "Many entrepreneurs are hesitant to jump on the networking 'bandwagon' when the fact is that these provide important opportunities to gain exposure for himself and his business," says Nazeem Martin, MD of Business Partners, the leading financier of South African SMEs. "Whether it's throug...
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Tips for marketing your Guest House

South Africa is the world’s fastest-growing tourist destination and offers many opportunities for entrepreneurs. The challenge, of course, is not to get lost in the general clutter that confronts both local and foreign tourists when planning a trip here. This is particularly true for guest houses and B&Bs run by entrepreneurs who can’t match the advertising and promotional budgets of the big hotel chains. The good news is that there are ...
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