Small business marketing mistakes
Setting up and running your own business takes time and a lot of effort. This means that some important things can get missed in the chaos. Small business marketing is definitely one of those areas that can easily be missed when you’re bouncing
Marketing your business is definitely one of those areas that can easily be missed when you’re bouncing from one job to another through your working day. After all, when you’re busy, why would you want to make even more work for yourself?
Those busy times are seldom consistent, though. If they were, even the largest of companies wouldn’t need marketing teams and massive budgets! No matter how small your business, you do need a marketing presence.
There are a lot of mistakes that you can make when rushing to set your small business marketing up. We want to try to help you get around a few of the main ones!
You aren’t marketing your company
This one is fairly obvious! Are you marketing your business at the moment? If not, why not? It’s pivotal in getting your name out there.
You might be doing OK for customers now, but what happens if your current customers stop using you, or if the market changes? You need to have an ongoing marketing strategy to get you through the quiet times. Nobody ever said that they had too many customers after all!
You don’t have a website
Do you have an online presence?
There are no excuses for not having a website. Some companies will host a website for you for a few ££s per month. There are even free options such as WordPress.com and Google’s Blogger where you can create and host a website for free in minutes!
Although you have a “brick and mortar” shop, your customers still want to know that you are serious about your business and are open in your business activities. Most customers expect you to have an online presence for them and won’t trust companies who don’t.
You aren’t distinctive
This can happen as a result of trying to please too many people and not focussing on your core business. It can also happen when business owners aren’t brave enough to shout about what they do!There is far too much competition in every industry for you to hide in the bushes and be happy about what little bit of the pie you have. Be greedy – Be Loud and you will be much more successful!
There is far too much competition in every industry for you to hide in the bushes and be happy about what little bit of the pie you have. Be greedy, be loud and you will be much more successful!
You’re not up to date on your industry
I know! You’ve been too busy to research what is happening in the industry and to find out what your competition are doing!
Unfortunately, whilst you’ve been busy your competition have been out there building a presence and marketing their hearts out. If you really take your business seriously, you need to catch up and overtake them with the brand awareness.
Your customers want to know everything about you and they won’t hang around until you’re quiet enough to help them!
No marketing strategy
Think about the last time that you set off on a journey to somewhere that you hadn’t been before. You had to be there for a meeting at a certain time.
Hopefully, you didn’t just “wing it” and set off without doing some preparation first. You might have looked at a map, or searched online for directions. You needed to know how to get there and how long it takes to get there as a minimum. Some people might have to consider the costs involved and look for parking too.
If you don’t have a strategy in place for your business marketing, you’re one of the people “winging it” as above. You have to know where you want to end up before you can ever achieve success. This applies to everything that you do, not just marketing or business!
You’re not measuring your activity
How do you know if your business is successful?
You’re probably measuring things like money in the bank, sales figures and profit & loss as a minimum.
Your marketing activity needs to be measured in the same way. By analysing your activity, you can decide what is working and what isn’t. Give your marketing a chance by knowing what information you need to plan your next steps. This will also give you the advantage of knowing if your time and effort are being well spent or not. It might save you a lot of effort in the long run.
You play with social media, but don’t make the most of it
Social media is a great time waster in the wrong hands! It’s very easy to get lost in your newsfeeds and forget that you have work to do. This includes people who are paid to work on social media too!
Most people now have their own social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin. Some people are active on every one of them!
The number of accounts that you have personally doesn’t matter when it comes to marketing your business. How you approach your own accounts doesn’t matter either! Just because you can get your friends to like a funny cat picture doesn’t mean that you know what you’re doing.
Strategic social media marketing is a difficult thing to do well. The channels are constantly changing their algorithms and making it harder for businesses (and people) to reach their audiences without paying. This is partly to do with the fact that there are a lot of people “playing with” marketing on them!
Our advice is to learn everything that you can about how to use social media properly for marketing purposes. If done correctly and in tune with the ongoing changes you will find that you can reach a massive number of new and existing customers at a reasonably low cost.
The main expense on social media is usually the time rather than money spent.
Not asking for help from experts
You might be a one person business, but you’re already probably using a list of experts as part of your day to day activities. Do you believe the sales people who offer you new products for your business? Are you using a particular energy supplier because they are the best? Do you have an accountant or tax advisor?
When it comes to your business marketing you also need to consider getting advice and support from experts.
Be careful here, though! Just because someone calls themselves an expert it doesn’t mean that they are! Look to speak with people or companies who “walk the walk”. Are they marketing their own business too?
Consider whether you can find them online. Social media accounts? Blog posts? Awards?
Ask them questions about how they can help you to achieve YOUR goals, not theirs! If they are any good, they will want to know everything about you and your business. Not just how much you want to spend (if any)!
We hope that this has helped you to see how mistakes can easily creep into your business marketing. If you have any questions about marketing for your business, please contact us.
What one piece of advice would you offer someone who is considering doing all of their own small business marketing?
Leave a message in the comments below.
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