By: Gordon Conner
Managing a small business can drive you batty at times. You have to do it all: you are the President, CMO, CFO, HR Manager and, of course, you turn the lights out at night. Being responsible for marketing can be very challenging and mistakes can be deadly. Your marketing can make or break your business. Here are 5 marketing mistakes that small businesses can avoid.
1- Don’t know who your customer is
So you think your market is everybody. You don’t have time to identify who your customer really is. If you want to be successful, you need to define your niches. You need to understand their needs, concerns and wants and give them what they require. Once you know who your customer is, you can tailor your message to that customer and make better decisions about how to use your limited resources.
2- No Unique Selling Proposition
Why should buyers buy from you? What makes your products and services better than your competition? Why do you stand out from the rest? If you want to compete on price, as a small business you’ll lose. You simply become a commodity. You need to give your customers something better as their reason to choose you.
3- No Pricing Strategy
If you have a good pricing strategy, you’ll have an advantage over your competitors and a way to create a sustainable business. It’s not easy to do because you can wind up under charging and leaving money on the table, or overcharging and no one wants to pay the price.
4- Patience, Persistence and Consistency
Do you find yourself getting discouraged when you don’t see immediate results? You have to remember that marketing isn’t something that gets results instantly. The answer is to develop a consistent message with the appropriate frequency, in the right media to reach your targeted market. If you don’t keep up the consistency, long-term results won’t happen.
5- Not enough marketing budget
Marketing is a long-term investment and requires a consistent investment of funds and time to work. Even Facebook isn’t free any more. In social media you have to invest time, but also money if you want your content to be seen by a lot of prospective buyers.
- To stay in business … You must make a profit
- To make a profit … you must sell stuff
- To sell stuff … you have to market!
If you stop marketing to cut costs – your marketing efforts will fail, and your business will fail. It’s that simple.
To operate a small business, you must take risks. Mistakes will inevitably happen. Learn from them and move on. If you want to move faster, watch other successful business owners and learn from their mistakes. Start by getting your customers defined properly (who they are, their concerns, needs, pains, etc.), develop a solid marketing plan around that market and avoid these 5 marketing mistakes. Are you making these mistakes? Call BranWorks for an assessment. It’s Free!
And don’t forget … patience is a requirement for successful marketing.
About the Author
Gordon Conner is a Marketing & Branding Consultant/Coach who helps build WOW brands for small local businesses. He has been providing advertising, marketing and branding and services for 40 years and lives in Midlothian, Virginia. He can be reached at Gordon@BranWorks.com, or www.BranWorks.com.