A small business owner faces a myriad of challenges, and most importantly, they have to connect with customers. Marketing your product can be difficult for new entrepreneurs trying their best to get an edge over the bigger players in the marketplace. Budgets can be minimal compared to big corporations, and one small mistake can cost you valuable time, money, and energy.
Here’s the 14 Marketing Mistakes to Avoid For Small Business Success
Not Being Sure of Your Niche Market
If you’re going to succeed in any venture, you have to know who your audience is and where they hang out online. Before developing an entire marketing plan, it’s important to know who you should be marketing to. Are you targeting local families, single parents, or grandparents? Are you selling to professionals who need a specific type of service because others have abandoned them? Or are you trying to reach the younger generation by offering cool gadgetry at affordable prices?
Not Creating a Strong Brand
Your brand needs to stand out from the crowd so people remember your product name. A strong brand may make all the difference in getting that sale and moving ahead in business.
Letting Your Emotions Get In The Way of Business
It can be hard to separate your emotions from your work, especially if you spend a lot of time on something. Because small businesses usually don’t have sales teams or staff available 24/7, it’s good to let yourself take some time off to refresh and relax.
Not Using Customer Feedback
Don’t mistake thinking you know everything there is to know about your product or service and forget that every small business owner should always be open-minded. You may have a great product, but if people aren’t responding to it the way you expected, don’t hesitate to change your marketing strategy.
Not Planning Ahead
Avoid making costly mistakes by planning. Put together a marketing plan that you will follow from start to finish, so you don’t get off track when it comes time for execution.
Not having a marketing plan is an instant death sentence to any small business- so don’t continue to think that you can survive by “winging it.” Instead, take the time to strategize and execute your plan properly.
Not Right-Sizing Your Advertising Budget
One of the biggest mistakes many small businesses make is not spending enough on advertising, thinking they can do with less money, or not understanding how to spend their advertising budget.
Assuming Your Marketing Plan Will Work on Its Own
No matter how good your plan is, it won’t accomplish much if you’re not going to follow through and do the work necessary to make it a success. Don’t expect instant results when working on long-term strategies; they will take time to come to fruition.
Not Having A Website
Today’s viewers are more demanding than ever before. They will quickly look you up on Google, scan your site, and if it is outdated or difficult to maneuver, chances are they won’t return. Make sure that your website allows efficient navigation; easy-to-read headlines, subheadings, bullet points, etc. Always have a clear CTA for viewers to take action by providing multiple links below each header (For example, Free Sample with Order, View Our Contact Info, etc.)
Not Managing Online Reviews and Reputation
Online reviews are critical to a business’s success. If you have an outstanding review, that’s great, but most people will read the negative first and then go back and read the positive ones. Hence, why managing your online reputation is important. When you receive a bad review, it haunts you down for years, maybe the lifetime of your business- using an online reputation management tool can help you combat this by ‘gating’ reviews before it gets posted anywhere, so you can attempt to fix what your customers are complaining about before they post it anywhere.
Hint: Try ReviewPal for free: https://reviewpal.net/
Not Capitalizing on Trends
You may have the best product or service in your specific niche, but if you don’t know how to connect it with consumers, that’s all for naught. Try to stay current on trends so you can market accordingly. Keep an eye out on what’s happening in pop culture, search what people are looking for on search engines, see Google Trends, etc.
Not Marketing At All
Sometimes it can be easy to forget just how important marketing is. Don’t make this mistake! Marketing can be time-consuming and expensive, but no one will know about it if you don’t market your product or service. Your business will not make any money, and you won’t grow your client base.
Not Being Transparent
If you aren’t transparent with your audience about what’s happening in and around your business, they will always wonder- and a little bit of mystery is not good for any company or brand. Share your business’ “behind the scenes” happenings to keep customers involved and informed. You can also use this transparency as a way of admitting when you are wrong, which will make you appear more human to your potential clients.
Not Tailoring Your Product or Service To Fit The Needs Of Your Audience
Just because you say you have the best product or service available for a certain niche doesn’t mean they will believe it. Make sure you’re targeting your audience correctly and that you are tailoring what’s being said about your business to appeal to them specifically.
Not Creating An Effective Call-To-Action
When someone visits your website, if there is no clear indication of what you want them to do, then it’s a waste. Don’t make your potential audience guess. Clearly tell them exactly what you want them to do next: Sign up for your newsletter, download an ebook or whitepaper, purchase a product or service; the options are endless.
As a small business owner, you do not have the same budget advantages as bigger corporations which means you may be at an unfair disadvantage. Your marketing strategies are critical to get your name out there and connect with new customers before the competition has a chance to snatch them up.
I hope this article has helped you figure out how to strategize and get things moving in the right direction for your business.
Based on these 14 Marketing Mistakes to Avoid For Small Business Success, which one is your biggest hurdle right now?
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