So you have a business or are thinking of having one and want some marketing ideas to promote your small business? This article will give you some guidelines on how you can get your business from the ground and make it grow. In order to apply your small business marketing ideas, you will need a plan like the one listed below to guide you.First of all, you need to set your marketing goals after doing your market research. Set your goals regarding your short term and long term. Theses goals could be how many sales you plan on making in six months to a years time, how many customers you plan to reach, how you plan on getting to them and how soon, how much money you plan on making with in a specific time frame, etc. Your goals must be specific, realistic, and include a time frame.In order to apply your small business marketing idea, you need to know who you are marketing against. Know your competitors. Know others that are selling the same products you sell and those that offer similar products. Other from them and test their products, experience their customer service, and know about their reputation with others. Know how you stack up against your competitors and make the necessary adjustments to do better than what they are doing.Decide on advertising methods. Some methods of advertising are free and others will cost you money. Explore all avenues. Talking about your business to friends, relatives, and acquaintances is a free form of advertising that can transform into sales eventually. Networking on the Internet at social sites is another free way of advertising. Others that will cost you money and may be worth it are classified ads, yellow pages, signs, radio, catalogs, direct mail, etc.Doing all of the above won’t pay off to the fullest if you don’t follow up on your small business marketing ideas. Follow up on every effort you have put in promoting your business. Return phone calls, make sure you apply what your ads say, know which marketing method is working and expand on it.