How much will you pay in Stripe transaction fees?

Calculating Stripe fees for customer payments is easy with our calculator. Enter the payment amount to calculate Stripe's transaction fees and what you should charge to receive the full amount.

Payment Amount
Stripe fee:
$ --
You'll receive:
$ --
To take home $--, you should ask for:
$ --
How much will you pay in Square fees?

Calculate how much you’ll pay in Square fees for online, in-person, and manually-entered payments.

Payment Amount
Square fees
Amount received after fees
In-person payments
For in-person payments with a card, Square charges a fee of 2.6% + $0.10 per transaction.
$ --
$ --
Manually-entered payments
For manually-entered payments or card-on-file payments, Square charges a fee of 3.5% + $0.15 per transaction.
$ --
$ --
Online payments
For online payments or payments via invoice, Square charges a fee of 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction. (If you're signed up for the Premium plan, the percentage fee is lower at 2.6%.)
$ --
$ --
Calculate estimated loan payments in seconds

Enter your loan information to get an estimated breakdown of how much you'll pay over the lifetime of your loan.

Loan Amount
Loan Term
Loan APR
If you borrow -- over -- at an interest rate of --, you will pay a total amount of --, or -- per month.
Minimum monthly payment:
$ 0.00
Average monthly interest:
$ 0.00
Total interest paid:
$ 0.00
Total amount paid:
$ 0.00
How much will you pay in PayPal fees?

PayPal fees can be confusing. Our calculator helps you understand how much you’ll pay in fees for common transaction methods.

Payment Amount
Is the payment domestic or international?
PayPal fee rate
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
PayPal fee:
$ 0.00
You’ll receive:
$ 0.00
To take home --, ask for:
$ 0.00

reating a marketing plan is essential for small business owners to connect with their target audience, build loyal customers, and drive growth.  

In this article, you'll learn the fundamentals of marketing for small businesses. We’ll explore the idea of brand identity and the many types of marketing available, including how to use each to your advantage.

Identifying your target audience

Marketing works when it resonates with a potential buyer, tapping into their needs or desires. Therefore, to market effectively, you need to know who your buyers are and what they want.

Defining your ideal customer

Start by creating an "ideal customer"—a composite profile of the person who is your business is best equipped to serve.

You may have these ideal customers already. Talk to your most loyal buyers or clients. Find out what drew them to you and what they love about your offering. If possible, dive deeper and find out what social media platforms they use, whether they open emails from businesses like yours, and if there are specific messages, discounts, or events that inspire them to make a purchase. If you’re just starting out, do some competitive analysis of other businesses in your industry to get a sense of the customers they’re targeting.

Aanalyze any customer data you have. For example, find out what your top buyers have in common, from income level to purchase patterns.

Doing market research

Since you'll want to explore beyond your current customer base, doing general market research is essential. Look at the following:

  • Demand: What unmet needs can your business fill?
  • Market saturation: How tough is the competition?
  • Market size: How many people could you serve?
  • Location: What areas can you serve?

Start with existing sources, such as trade associations and industry publications. If you're a consumer business, look at related consumer publications and online forums. Some businesses design focus groups and surveys, but these techniques are resource-intensive and may not be worthwhile for smaller businesses.

Creating a small business marketing plan

Maximize the impact of a limited marketing budget with a clear, strategic marketing plan. Identify what makes your business unique and determine how you'll communicate that to your audience.

Finding your unique selling proposition (USP)

Your USP is your "it" factor—the thing you do better or differently than the competition. It's about offering something no one else can. Identify how you stand out, then put that feature at the front of your marketing.

Setting goals and developing a strategy

Like any goal for your business, your marketing goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound (SMART). Create a quantifiable target you want to reach with a deadline, but don't make it impossible to hit.

For example, your primary goal might be to increase your customer base by 25% in a year. Determining who you want to reach, the tactics that will help you achieve this increase, and how you will implement them forms the basis of your marketing strategy.

Creating your small business marketing mix

The first element of your strategy is your marketing mix, also known as the "Four P's":

  • Product: What do you sell, and what makes it unique?
  • Price: How much will people pay for it, and will that price cover your costs?
  • Placement: Where do people buy products or services like yours?
  • Promotion: What channels and messaging will you use for marketing your business?

Most businesses use the first three P's to inform their promotional strategy. For the fourth P, Promotion, consider your brand identity and communication style when selecting your marketing channels. For example, if you’re a consumer brand with a casual image, Instagram could be a great way to reach your target audience.

Developing your brand

Branding is the foundation of any successful marketing strategy. It shapes how consumers think of you and helps you stand out from the crowd.

Strong brands are critical for marketing success, but they take purposeful thought and planning. Here’s how to develop yours.

Creating a solid brand identity

Consumer psychology is all about identity. Consumers choose brands like they choose friends—because they feel a personal connection and "fit." If you’re starting your business from scratch, you will need to define your brand before you start creating marketing messages.

Creating a brand persona can help. Imagine your business as a person and describe them. How do they dress, act, and talk? These details will help you create more cohesive messaging.

Establishing brand messaging and guidelines

Guidelines help you maintain brand consistency in all of your marketing, whether you’re creating marketing materials yourself, have an in-house creative team, or work with freelancers. Clear, well documented brand guidelines will save you time by simplifying creative decisions when you or your team are drafting emails, ads, social media posts, and more. When you’re working with multiple vendors, contractors, writers, or interns, brand guidelines will help keep your messaging and visual identity consistent everywhere your brand shows up. They keep your messaging consistent. Consistency is essential for customer loyalty, which drives higher spending.

In 2021, 68% of marketers reported that brand consistency drove 10% to over 20% of recent revenue growth..

The best way to develop brand guidelines is with a formal style guide. It doesn’t have to be extensive—just long enough to convey the important points of how you present yourself.

A basic style guide should include the following:

  • A unique selling proposition: What makes you stand out from the competition?
  • Your business’s mission: Your vision and values
  • Your brand personality: How you’d describe your brand as a person—casual or formal, outgoing or reserved, etc.
  • Your brand voice: How your business expresses itself in words, considering its personality and image
  • Your visual branding: The logo, color scheme, and graphic style you prefer for brand messaging

Be as clear as possible in how you express your branding preferences. You want all content creators, now and in the future, to be able to follow it and create consistent messaging.

Website and search engine optimization (SEO)

Many customers will find you through your website. Some will search Google or a map app for your business name or category, such as “consultants near me.” Others will click through from your social media or paid ads, if you’re investing in paid search or display advertising.

That means that your website should be designed for your customers and optimized for them to take action. And you’ll want to follow best practices for SEO to ensure that you’re maximizing your online visibility to potential leads. 

Elements of a successful website

A well-designed business website includes the following:

  • Straightforward navigation: A user-friendly menu that makes it easy to find specific pages.
  • Elegant design: A professional and uncluttered layout featuring images and just enough text to get the message across.
  • Mobile-optimized: Easy to browse on any device.
  • Valuable content: Pages and posts that meet a need or solve a problem.
  • Clear calls-to-action: Buttons and forms that help people take the next step, whether that is filling out a form or making a purchase.

Many website-building tools make it easy to create a beautiful website. If you have the budget and want something more customized, consider hiring a designer.

Strategies for SEO

SEO is designing and tweaking your website to rank highly on search engine results pages (SERPs). The most important search engine is Google, which processes over 91% of web searches.

The top result on a Google SERP gets 27.6% of clicks. In other words, more than one in four searchers will click the first non-ad result on a page. Also, for each position you move up, you can expect your click-through rate to increase by about 2.8%. It’s important to keep in mind that Google updates its algorithm without notice, and regularly experiments with new or paid SERP features that may push your organic listings further down. Search is a competitive and constantly evolving space, so it’s normal to see your rankings for non-branded keywords move up and down. Ideally, your site consistently ranks at the top of the first SERP for your business name and any related searches that include your business name.

Apply SEO best practices to give search engines what they want. For example:

  • Do keyword research. Find out what phrases your ideal customer uses to search, and work them into your website.
  • Create relevant and helpful content. Google's helpful content system rewards websites that offer valuable and authoritative information.
  • Format for search engines—and readers. Use headings, subheadings, and concise paragraphs to make content easy to read. Add title tags to help Google understand each page's topics. But your website doesn’t only exist for robots and web crawlers, and Google favors content that humans click on, so don’t overlook the user experience on your site.

Like other elements of your marketing strategy, your website does its job when it converts. Monitor your SEO performance by tracking changes in your website performance. Some straightforward metrics to start with include:

  • Bounce rate: How often people leave after viewing one page
  • Duration: How long people spend on a page
  • Conversion: How often visitors make a purchase or take another action

Start checking this data for free using Google Analytics.

Social media marketing

Social media marketing is essential for small businesses. It's how you actively engage with audiences and start conversations that turn into relationships.

Choosing the right platforms

Social media is valuable, but it can be time-consuming. According to HubSpot research, most brands post four times weekly or more per platform. You may consider some tools that help you plan and schedule social posts in advance, or post across multiple platforms at once. You can also narrow your focus — you don't have to be on every platform to get results.

Start with the sites that attract your target audience. For example, if you sell beauty products primarily to millennial women, Instagram is a must-have. On the other hand, if you're a consultant targeting startups, LinkedIn may be more useful.

Developing your social strategy

Once you've chosen your platforms, identify goals for your social media strategy. For example, you might use paid ads to reach new audiences or encourage existing followers to share your content. Either way, knowing your goals will help you decide when, where, and what to post.

Making effective content

Aim to post consistently, but don't fall into the trap of posting solely to meet your quota. Every content piece should educate, entertain, or inspire an emotional reaction.

Engaging with audiences

Getting the most out of social means interacting with your audience. Respond to questions in the comments, your direct messages, or DMs in social media lingo. If someone mentions your brand, comment or share.

Content marketing

Content marketing is a strategic approach to creating and sharing valuable content with the goal of attracting and retaining a clearly defined audience. It's a great way to build your brand and offer value to your target audience. It focuses on offering value, strengthening relationships, and moving audiences along the sales funnel.

Creating a strategy

If you've already developed a brand identity and created an SEO strategy, you've done half the content marketing work. You know your target audience and the keywords it uses to search, and you understand the competitive landscape.

Your next step is to create a content calendar. This outlines what you plan to post, in what format, and when. Use the goals you've established to decide how much content you want to create around each topic.

Developing effective content

Articles and blog posts under 3,000 words are the most common type of content marketing for B2B and business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers. They're straightforward to create and are easily shareable on social media.

Video is more time-consuming to create, but it's highly engaging and gets excellent results. Among the 91% of surveyed marketers who use video, 96% say it's an integral part of their strategy. Choose the materials that you believe will serve your audience best.

Tracking content marketing success

Content marketing leads readers to other conversion-focused pages, but it isn't sales-oriented. It's a top-of-funnel strategy that attracts audiences with informational or entertaining content relevant to your business.

Because the goal of content is to build relationships and not necessarily make an immediate sale, you need to measure it in other ways. Typical content marketing success metrics include:

  • Web traffic: Navigations to your website from your marketing content
  • Lead generation: Prospects who contact you after interacting with your content
  • Conversions: People who sign up to learn more, buy something, or take another desired action
  • Search rankings: Whether you move up in search results after publishing content

Choose the metrics that best match your goals. For example, if organic traffic is a content goal, you'll pay more attention to rankings than conversions.

Email marketing

Email marketing is a powerful tool for reaching current and prospective customers. As of 2021, 41.5% of marketers say it's essential to their marketing mix.

Customers love it, too. According to Constant Contact, more than half of consumers prefer businesses to contact them by email.

Developing an email marketing strategy

Your email strategy starts like every other marketing strategy—by identifying your goals and whom you want to reach. For example, do you need to deepen your relationships with existing customers or convert more prospects? From there, decide what channels to use.

Creating effective email campaigns

Use the email types that will communicate your message best. Available types of marketing emails include:

  • Newsletters: Staying top-of-mind with news and updates
  • Promotional campaigns: Sharing discounts or members-only specials
  • Seasonal marketing: Planning special promotions for times such as spring, the Fourth of July, and Halloween
  • Win-back emails: Contacting people who have fallen out of touch

Before you get started, set your business up with an email service with all the functionality you’ll need for building your list, designing emails, and scheduling automated messages. Look for one that will track the success of your campaigns and show you which messages get the best results.

Tracking email success

The simplest and most effective way to track your email campaigns is through a bulk email service, such as Mailchimp or Constant Contact. These services report on metrics such as open rate, click-through rate, conversion rate, bounce rate, unsubscribe rate, and spam complaints.

Paid advertising

Even with free and low-cost options such as content and email, paid advertising is still a tried-and-true small business marketing strategy.

Types of paid ads

There's a massive variety of options available, both online and offline. Online paid ads include:

  • Social media ads
  • Search ads, also called pay-per-click
  • Display ads on third-party websites

Online advertising is generally affordable, which makes it great for small businesses. For example, Google Ads lets you set a monthly budget, and you only pay per click. Most digital ads also let you show your messages to people who share specific characteristics from age and location to buying behavior.

That said, don't dismiss "old-school" advertising, especially if you have a local presence. TV, radio, and newspaper ads still reach local audiences.

Launching and measuring paid advertising

Whether they're online or offline, effective ads are concise and persuasive. They focus on benefits rather than features—what the buyer will get out of the product, not what the product can do.

Digital advertising platforms, such as Google or Facebook, let you track the results of your ads. Follow these closely and adjust your campaigns accordingly.

Traditional advertising is harder to measure, but you can still get plenty of information by asking how people found you. For example, before you start running ads, add a “How did you learn about us?” question to channels such as your email signup or purchase form. If people point to your ads, you’ll know those ads are working.

Public relations

Until this point, all of the marketing strategies you’ve learned about have focused on how you communicate with consumers. Public relations—PR—takes care of what other people say about you.

Public conversations exist about any business. PR efforts follow what people say and weigh in to shape the conversation, so your public image becomes what you want it to be.

Creating a PR strategy

Develop your PR strategy by paying attention to what people say about your business. Then reinforce the "good stuff" and prove the bad stuff wrong.

Unlike other types of marketing, most PR primarily involves “earned media”—other sources talking about or featuring you. Some of those messages, such as press releases, you can directly contribute to. Others, such as brand mentions on social media, you take an indirect role in facilitating.

For example, suppose you own a coffee business, and you want to establish yourself as edgy and on-trend. Your PR team creates a hashtag, #notyourmotherscoffeeshop, and reaches out to a few smaller-scale influencers to promote it.

Influencing is just one way to impact your PR strategy. Find out how your customers talk about you, whether by asking them directly or searching social media for brand mentions, then strategize ways to weigh in.

Using press releases

The press release is a classic PR tool. Written for audiences of news reporters, press releases position your company's news as something other people will want to read about. A well-written press release should:

  • Start with a short, engaging headline
  • Present key facts
  • Show why the story is newsworthy
  • Include a link to learn more

Of course, press releases only succeed if someone picks them up. Take time to research journalists who write in your industry, and send personalized messages to build your relationship.

Measuring small business marketing success

To get the most from your marketing dollars, you need to track campaign performance and learn which decisions move you forward.

Key performance indicators (KPIs) for small businesses

KPIs are quantifiable metrics of success, each of which connects your marketing efforts to your bottom line. Popular KPIs for small business marketers include:

  • Customer acquisition cost: How much you spend to acquire a customer
  • Click-through rate: How many people click through to your website from a marketing asset
  • Conversion rate: How many people visited your website compared to how many took the desired action

You don't have to track every KPI—just the ones most relevant to your goals, financial needs, and data resources.

Tools to measure your success

Many KPIs are measurable using your existing marketing tools. For example, your bulk email service will help you understand your click-through rate. Likewise, Google Analytics will help you understand landing page and blog traffic.

If you’re not familiar with Google Analytics or you want to get started before you set it up, you can calculate some KPIs manually. For instance, to calculate customer acquisition cost, divide the amount you spent on a campaign by how many customers it brought in.

Finally, if you have the budget for it, consider investing in a data analytics solution such as SAS or InsightSquared. These tools help you track performance across your organization, not just in your marketing.

Analytics tools are helpful because they give you not just the numbers but also what they mean. Data is just numbers, but analytics provide you with direction.

Finding the best way to market your business

There's a lot to learn about small business marketing, but it all comes down to three basic ideas:

  • Know your audience
  • Create an engaging journey
  • Show potential customers why they should choose you

If launching a complete marketing strategy seems overwhelming, start with one channel and one campaign. If it does well, take what you learned and try something new.

Finally, as your business grows, make sure it stays scalable and well-organized. For instance, you’ll ideally have more money coming in, so you’ll want reliable business banking with automation features, insightful reporting, and simple money movement.

With everything in place, a customer-focused marketing strategy will take you to the next level.

Novo Platform Inc. strives to provide accurate information but cannot guarantee that this content is correct, complete, or up-to-date. This page is for informational purposes only and is not financial or legal advice nor an endorsement of any third-party products or services. All products and services are presented without warranty. Novo Platform Inc. does not provide any financial or legal advice, and you should consult your own financial, legal, or tax advisors.

All-in-one money management

Take your business to new heights with faster cash flow and clear financial insights —all with a free Novo account. Apply in 10 minutes.