Small Business Market Planning Strategy
Does your initial market planning strategy consider the name of your business? And what's in a name anyway? Well actually quite a lot. Let’s think about this for a moment. When you originally conceived the idea for your business how much time did you actually spend on creating a name that would became a brand? Your brand? Did you consider the implications of what in reality is a very big marketing decision? Or did you have a name in mind and just went with it?
In the past companies were frequently named after their owner – Smith’s, Barrets, Ball and Sons etc. Sometimes this name would be followed by the nature of their business – the stationers, estate agent, removals or whatever. But in these more modern times of advanced technology you need to be thinking about how the name of your business and how what you do can be best portrayed. I am talking now of course of a key area of marketing and that is the internet. How you appear to the world via your website is crucial, fundamental to you market planning strategy and should be ignored at your peril. A search engine friendly name can be a boon not only to your website presence but also when followed through in all your marketing activity. I include in this letterheads, comp slips, brochures, other propaganda, etc. Anything that will carry your name – your brand.
Where to start then with your small business market planning strategy? ‘It’s a big wide world out there and surely there must be the perfect name for my business you are thinking’. Don’t fret for you will find a good name for your business but it will take some time, inspiration and research. A great plan is to begin by collating a list of ‘keywords’ linked to your type of business. Keywords are those magic criteria by which search engines such as Google can identify what a website (i.e. your business) is about and present it to the world accordingly. Try this. Begin to type in your first keyword into the Google search bar and hey presto Google will begin to anticipate what you are searching for. Note down the ‘suggestions’ it makes. Move on to the next keyword(s).
You can of course sign up to Google Adwords that has a useful toolbar for keywords that shows you the global and local number of people searching those particular keywords. There are a number of companies that can supply you with more information than this – such as what the ‘supply’ (i.e how many people are serving those keywords) is and this helps you to understand how competitive a market you are entering.
The best tool on the market for doing this sort of analysis is called Brainstorm It by Site Build It! I've used it to great success however this does cost money but no doubt your business is going to need a website anyway so when you wrap up all that Site Build It does for you it's a pretty small outlay.
You can use Brainstorm It to make a shortlist of ideas. Armed with this list go to a Domain Name (the name your business will be called on the web) supplier and try out the keywords from your shortlist to see what is currently available. Note here that you should be thinking .co.uk if local (i.e. UK only) or .com (or the latest .co) if you anticipate your business being of more global interest.
Try, try and try again until you can secure the most suitable name. Something that says exactly what it does on the tin and launches your small business marketing endeavours. This will make the next steps in your market planning strategy so much easier.
Fret not if you already have a company name. Follow the above advice with regards to your website so that your domain name is keyword friendly – Site Build It! shows you how to do this too.
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