Happy Birthday Cake | Celebrate a Business Birthday - 5 IdeasWell first of all it’s great news and a perfect excuse for a celebration or marketing opportunity in my book (come on, I am a marketer after all!).

On a more serious note, business anniversaries or birthdays can be important milestones for your small business. They are a good way to mark progress in your growth, reinforce your trading credibility and track record, and they also help to build your business and personal brand. So it’s well worth recognising and celebrating them suitably.

My own business, Orchard Marketing Associates, is five years old this month (January 2012) and I will be marking the occasion, celebrating and promoting it. I am very proud to have been trading for this amount of time, especially as much of it has been during a very tough recession period. Unfortunately, not all small businesses have been so fortunate. Starting your own business is never easy and we should all acknowledge and celebrate these achievements for our businesses.

I have decided to focus my own business birthday celebrations on the ‘five’ theme to mark my five years of trading, sharing a series of posts on this blog throughout January with handy ‘five’ themed free marketing tips to help your small business grow quicker and be more successful. I felt it was the most effective way to help my readers and celebrate my own success.

So how can you boost your marketing efforts by taking advantage of a business birthday?

The key thing is always to re-visit your marketing objectives. Don’t just throw away money on random ideas that don’t support your broader marketing goals – for example, giving away something of high value like a holiday or high value gift and not supporting your marketing objectives such as increasing your website traffic, boosting your search engine rankings, building your mailing list, getting quality Twitter followers, downloads of your e-book, generating online sales, boosting footfall to your retail premises, or getting more readers for your blog.

Remember to maximise your birthday ‘PR power’ by issuing a press release online and distributing this information across all of your available channels – your blog, website, email marketing campaigns or e-newsletters, free online press release distribution sites, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, et al!

So as promised, based on my ‘five’ theme…

Here are 5 ideas of how to celebrate your business birthday…

1. Run a competition

Perhaps to give away a number of items that reinforce your birthday message e.g. 10 bottles of champagne for the best 10 comments on a blog post, 5 winners drawn at random from email sign ups or e-book downloads.

2. Discount code or voucher

Why not create a special discount voucher, promotional postcard or code to be redeemed in your online shop or in person when visiting your shop to boost customer footfall. If you offer a service, you can still offer a discount without undermining your brand.

3. Throw a party!

A bit of birthday cake and some champagne goes a long way to create publicity and a buzz about your business. Invite your existing and potential customers, influential contacts and suppliers in your network to help celebrate your business milestone.

4. Recognise the efforts of your employees

If you employ staff, recognise their role in making your business a success (i.e. don’t take all the glory yourself) and organise a staff party or meal, team reward or incentive, or even a gift for every staff member, to help boost their feelings of company pride, loyalty and motivation. After all, keeping and motivating great staff is important, particularly in the current climate.

5. Customer gifts

Send your valuable customers a personalised gift that carries your birthday message. Again, try and make it fit the theme and offer them a discount if they continue to use your service or reward them for increased spend with your company.

There are many ideas and I’m sure you will share some of your own through your comments on this blog post, but here are 5 quick ones to get you started…

There are many more ideas and I hope you’ll share some of your own. I’d love to hear your suggestions and the best business birthday idea received by 31st January will win a bottle of fruitful and very tasty ‘champagne!

Photo credit: Digitalart