Take one look at this video about B’s purses and you’ll be surprised by the very first words you hear: only 3 percent of woman-owned businesses reach the million dollar revenue mark.”
It goes without saying that those businesses that do reach $1 million are something special – and B’s Purses is no exception. This business, started by three young moms working from their homes in Kentucky, achieved $1 million in sales in its first year.
The trio realized that women make 85 percent of direct marketing purchases and the top selling women’s accessory is the purse. When they began the company in 2004, no custom purses were sold through direct marketing.
So, the founders focused on a direct small business marketing approach to sell their custom purses and fashion accessories. B’s appealed to stay-at-home moms who wanted extra income while also working at home.
The purse parties are now taking place across the country. To date, the company has approximately 400 reps and counting. What small business marketing tips can PR Pros take from B’s success?
1. Understand your industry. The B’s girls realized that purses were hot accessories and that providing a proven product offers a strong base for success.
Find out what’s hot in your industry. Trending products can be the end of one wave and the nexus for something new. How can your company tap into those trends?
2. Think outside the box. No matter what your product or service may be, there’s always another way to market it. If you’ve been following the traditional marketing path, take a step into online marketing.
If you’ve created a website for your brand, expand your presence on social networks for greater reach (and more clicks back to your site).
3. Follow success stories in all industries. What do purses have to do with you if you sell, say, tractors?
Aside from the fascinating possibility of in-home tractor parties, you can refresh your creativity by seeing and learning from the success of others. Although a tractor salesman’s audience may be very different, the B’s girls approach to researching and understanding their buying audience in order to create a unique selling proposition could be easily adopted.
4. Take a hit from the direct marketing philosophy. Connection and relationships are the foundation of direct marketing success. How can you leverage those aspects in your own small business marketing?
- Test your content to make sure it’s compelling to readers
- Place your content where your target market can find it easily
- Create a blog where you can ask readers questions and engage them in discussions
- Continually explore new ways to personalize your brand such as getting involved in local events to give your brand a unique presence
5. Don’t be afraid to test ideas. You never know what will work until you try, so take chances and create test markets for individual campaigns.
Ask consumers for input on your efforts. Are you inviting engagement or turning prospects off?
Find niche sites where your products or services match the network of followers and try new ideas there.
Whether you sell purses, office equipment, appliances or tractors, there is always another way to market your products.
Find others to brainstorm with and follow the success of business people like the women at B’s Purses. You may find that idea you’ve been looking for is closer than you think.
Now we want to hear from you! What’s your small business success story? Submit your story below to enter a chance to be featured in our next small business marketing success story post.