Marketing for Small Businesses

As an Inland Empire ad agency, we make it our business to stay involved in the community. We like to keep up with other IE businesses so we know who’s doing well, who’s on the way out and who just arrived on the scene. But, we also like to reach out to the community. Tuesday night, Mike and Mustafa were asked to talk to a marketing class at Cal State San Bernardino. While the advice they offered was targeted to students, it can also be useful for small (and large) business owners. Here are the key takeaways from Tuesday’s presentation.

As a business, you have to be honest with your clients.
With the growth of social media, blogging and the Internet, it’s never been more important for companies to be transparent. Clients have to be able to trust you and the key to building that trust is by being open about your business practices. 

You have to be flexible.
Small businesses, in particular, need to pay attention to this one. Being flexible is what allows your company to survive – when something isn’t working you have to be able to make changes quickly. As an advertising agency, we constantly adapt our work and our services to meet the needs of existing and potential clients.

You have to hire people who are smarter than you, and trust their advice.
You can’t do everything yourself, you need good people to help your company succeed.  At Echo-Factory, we only hire people who are more creative than we are, people we trust to come up with great ideas for our clients.

You have to know what you do best.
In general, companies fall into one of three categories: product innovators, customer-service focused and lowest price. You have to know which category you want your company to focus on. For us, it’s customer-service. We build long-lasting customer relationships. We choose our clients carefully – we never work with anyone we don’t like. Our clients are people we enjoy spending time with, people we’d love to get a drink with after work.

You have to know your audience.
Since we’ve been in business, we’ve discovered clients want an advertising agency that puts them first. With that in mind, we offer people the kind of personal attention you can’t get at bigger agencies. When you call our office, we don’t waste your time by putting you on hold for hours or forcing you to talk to 20 people before getting to the right person. We connect you to the person you’re trying to reach as quickly as possible. 

We hope the CSU students enjoyed the presentation as much as Mike and Mustafa did. They had so much fun that they’re considering becoming professors. We’ll let you know how that turns out.