One of the toughest things to do is start a successful small business, especially in a weak economy. The banks aren’t lending as much as they used to, costs of production have gone up drastically, and while labor costs are down, the labor pool is so large that finding the right people can be like looking for a needle in a haystack.

What’s more, you are dealing with well-entrenched companies and brands that are already widely popular, and having to make your mark stand out from the herd. The bigger the brands in your field, the more money, effort, and time that will have to be put forward to wiggle your way into the market.

How To Promote a Start-Up Business

But all is not lost. It may be tough, even under better circumstances, but it is never impossible. With the right plan, the right tools, the right people, and a little bit of know-how, you can put together a public relations and marketing plan that can help you jump in with both feet, and stick the landing. Here are some PR tips from public relations expert Ronn Torossian, the CEO of 5WPR.

1. Plan Your Brand

You know what field you are working to be competitive in, and you generally know your established competition. People want something they recognize, but they don’t want something too similar. Figure out how you are going to set your brand apart. In burgers, there’s McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s, but there’s also In & Out, Whataburger, and 5 Guys. Notice that they focus on different selling points, different ad styles, different colors, and distinct logos. People who have a preference will drive out of their way for what they want. Just because you are small, doesn’t mean you can’t make your mark. Plan accordingly.

See also  Why Thought Leadership is Good Public Relations

2. Use Resources Wisely

Chances are when starting a small business, you won’t have the capital to float yourself for a year or two while you slowly take off. Generally, a business plan will have enough money for six months of operation as you become established. Don’t waste more money and manpower trying to grow your show. Utilize free media, through social networking and events. A grand opening banner isn’t enough. Hold a charitable function when you open, and get local press there to cover the event. Partner with other small businesses that might have parallel clientele, like a gym and a health food store.

3. Retention

Whatever your business, you will need repeat customers, especially starting out. Find unique ways to retain your new clients. Put up pictures of them, offer to host their business or community group function, get them to follow you on social media, and above all, deliver world-class customer service. You can’t lose any of your new clients, because starting out, there are few people to replace them. Stay on the ball, and success should come your way.

Discover more from Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian’s Professional Profile on Muck Rack
GuideStar Profile for Ronn Torossian Foundation
Ronn Torossian’s Articles on Entrepreneur
Ronn Torossian’s Blog Posts on Times of Israel
Ronn Torossian on SoundCloud

Previous articleThree Ways Video Can Make Your PR POP
Next articleRonn Torossian: When It’s Not About Price
Ronn Torossian is the Founder & Chairman of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently owned PR firms in the United States. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth and vision, with the agency earning accolades including being named a Top 50 Global PR Agency by PRovoke Media, a top three NYC PR agency by O'Dwyers, one of Inc. Magazine's Best Workplaces and being awarded multiple American Business Awards, including a Stevie Award for PR Agency of the Year. With over 25 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected public relations executives. Throughout his career he has advised leading and high-growth businesses, organizations, leaders and boards across corporate, technology and consumer industries. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications. He has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly in the media and has authored two editions of his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations," which is an industry best-seller. Torossian's strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, a Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a recipient of Crain's New York Most Notable in Marketing & PR. Outside of 5W, Torossian serves as a business advisor to and investor in multiple early stage businesses across the media, B2B and B2C landscape. Torossian is the proud father of two daughters. He is an active member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of multiple not for profit organizations.