One of the most important activities of a small business, including a cabinet shop, is marketing. Without marketing, customers can't find and buy from you. There are hundreds of books and resources on marketing that can make it seem like a daunting task. But successful marketing is really about knowing your customer, creating a message for your customer and getting the message to the customer. Here's some tips on marketing your small cabinet shop.
Determine what makes your cabinet shop special. People have many options when it comes to buying cabinets. To get your share of these customers, you need to know what makes your cabinets or service different from the others in an appealing way. Are your cabinets custom made? Do you have faster service? Are you lower priced? Your cabinets don't have to be the cheapest or the best. Instead they, or your service, needs to be different from your competition. This difference is known as your Unique Selling Proposition.
Figure out who needs or wants your cabinets. It can be argued that everyone needs cabinets, but odds are your cabinets appeal to a select group. Perhaps its to people who have high-end homes. Maybe its people who are remodeling Victorian homes. You need to identify the group of people who want, can afford and are willing to pay for your cabinets. It could be that there is more than one group of people, but you want to identify what those different groups are. They are your target market(s).
Talk to your target market. Today people have choices about whether or not they will read or watch an ad. Tivo and pop-up blockers are just two ways that people are able to prevent annoying ads. But they are looking for solutions and it's your job to give it to them. This is done by creating marketing materials that talk directly to your market. To do this you need know who they are as well as what are they interested in and what motivates them. A market that is interested in cabinets for Victorian homes is more likely to respond to marketing that is specific to Victorian homes than a generic cabinet ad.
Get your message to your market. Once you know who your target market is and have a message for it, you need to find out where this market is so you can get your business in front of it. Are they reading remodeling or home improvement magazines? What websites do they visit? What groups do they belong to? These are the places you need to have your marketing message.
Create a marketing plan. Marketing is not a one-shot deal. It requires a plan and regular implementation of that plan. When developing your plan, keep your target market and where it can be located in mind. For example, if people in your market do research on the Internet about cabinets, you'll want to develop Internet marketing strategies that can include ads on websites the potential customers visit and/or developing your own online presence with helpful tips as well as information about your cabinets.
Leslie Truex has been telecommuting and freelancing since 1994. She wrote the "The Work-At-Home Success Bible" and is a career/business and writing instructor at Piedmont Virginia Community College. Truex has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Willamette University and a Master of Social Work from California State University-Sacramento. She has been an Aerobics and Fitness Association of America certified fitness instructor since 2001.