There has never been a time quite like today, when a small business can not only succeed, but make a splash on a global level.
There’s a line in a song by the band Rush, written by drummer Neil Peart, which states:
Some will sell their dreams for small desires
Or lose the race to rats
Get caught in ticking traps
And stop to dream of somewhere to relax their restless flight.
We live in a very unique time, in a world that is becoming increasingly smaller as it gets more and more connected by the World Wide Web. Never has there been an age like this…where if you have a dream of starting an innovative company, product or service, add in some marketing savvy, some net know-how and a heaping dollop of hard work, you can make yourself known—and sell—in a global economy. It's literally changed the concept of the "small to midsized business" (SMB) market, and how they can create revenue streams.
Taking It to a Larger Stage
Here is a real-life example of how this played out right in front of my eyes. There was a client at a marketing firm I was working at—a solid band from central Illinois. They had a strong local following, and considering every member had a day job, a steady supply of performance dates, but the band had dreams of going to the next level.
Our firm became engaged with the band, and after studying more than 100 websites of popular and successful musicians, we were able to identify certain key points and functions to reference in creating their new site. A fresh, dynamic online presence was designed and established, and this marketing launched the band into a much larger world, giving them exposure to an entire globe of potential fans.
Music lovers could search YouTube to watch music videos and live concert clips of the band, explore further to find additional songs online, or subscribe to a forum in which they could interact with other fans and the band members themselves. Potential fans could get on iTunes, sample a few songs and download their catalog of music from anywhere in the world. On the new website, fans could connect to a platform that sells the band’s CDs, shirts and other merchandise, and find a booking schedule to see where they are playing next. The band was being contacted by music reviewers as far away as London, England, selling songs and digital albums to people in China, and making new fans all across the United States.
Put yourself back in time 30 years ago, as if the band were yours to guide and direct. How would talented musicians from a mid-sized, Midwestern city ever conceive of selling their albums to a worldwide market? I wager that most would have never even thought about someone in Asia listening to their songs. They would have been focused on show dates in small venues, hoping to make it to a larger stage, and maybe, just maybe, being discovered through a one-in-a-million shot by an agent who could really help them build a regional following. The odds of selling music globally was still a long way off, but that’s not the case anymore. The Internet and new media marketing have created the ability to extend your reach into a much larger marketplace, and by extension, an even greater opportunity to achieve success, because the more people you can touch and introduce to your business, the more potential customers you have on your radar!
Extending Your Reach
If you are considering the possibilities and what they could do for you, ask yourself a few essential questions:
- Is what you do marketable and salable to people on a regional, national or even global level?
- Would your business benefit from escaping some of the local competitive squeeze by setting your sights outside of the local market and digging new wells of revenue?
- Do you have the manpower, production capacity and administration ability to handle clients on a larger stage?
- The farther away you go, does the number of your competitors shrink or grow?
- Is your web presence built for easy client interaction through multiple platforms, including mobile web browsing and mobile apps?
- Are you optimizing your web presence for web users on a large scale?
- Is what you provide something that people are going to use search engines to find?
The bottom line is that becoming a nationally known company doesn’t require exorbitant budgets or hundreds of employees if the strategy that includes new media is sound and well executed.
You may have a business and a dream of where you want to take it—or maybe you just have a dream of starting a business. My message to you is that there has never been a time like today, when a small business can not only succeed, but make a splash globally! Internet marketing is the great equalizer, in which the SMB market can leverage the same technology and tactics to reach far beyond their walls, moving from a local market to a regional market, from regional to national, and from there…who knows?
Today, mom-and-pop businesses don’t have to sell out their dreams of exponential growth to merely keep their heads above water. They may need to just set their sights a little differently and use some different tools. If you answered “yes” to those questions above, take courage from the fact that every day, small businesses that produce everything from blenders and shoes to candies and cosmetics are growing because they took the plunge and dared to dream a little bigger. The time is now; the moment has come. The world could be waiting for exactly what you have! iBi