Starting and running a small business is exciting, but most of the excitement dies down and may even turn into frustration if you’re not making sales. This is why marketing, even for small businesses, is a big deal.
Marketing helps put your business in front of potential customers. Showing them you exist and how you can help them solve the problems they are having.
There’s hardly anything more to it, but something that seems so straightforward is giving a lot of small business owners problems.
While big businesses can afford to hire marketing experts to handle their marketing, small businesses, with limited resources, may not have that luxury.
Small business owners most times take charge of their marketing and because they are relatively inexperienced in marketing, they make some hidden mistakes that cost them.
But not to worry, you’ll see how to avoid costly mistakes that affect your small business marketing.
1. Not having a Marketing Plan and Budget
A lot of small businesses do not know the value of having a written marketing plan and budget. A marketing plan involves everything, including sources and strategy you intend to use for your small business promotion.
Alongside the marketing plan, the marketing budget gives direction and prevents wastage. You have a budget for each marketing channel for each day; this way you know which channel is bringing in the most results and which marketing strategy needs a review based on results obtained.
2. Trying to Sell to Everybody
This is one of the major mistakes small business owners make when marketing their business. They try to promote their products to everybody.
Even if your product or service is something everybody should be using, trying to sell it to everybody will feel like a scattergun approach; hitting everything and nothing in particular.
Instead of targeting everybody, niche down your market to focus on a specific group of people, this will greatly improve your marketing as your message will be more specific.
3. Cutting Your Marketing Budget When Things Get Tough
The first thing most small business owners do when things get difficult and they are trying to reduce the cost of running the business is to cut their marketing budget.
This is because they see marketing as an expense that needs to be cut down instead of an investment.
Your marketing budget should be the last thing you even think of cutting as it is one of the few things that can get your business out of that difficult financial situation.
4. Neglecting Word of Mouth Marketing
Talk of free and effective marketing; word-of-mouth marketing is not only powerful but also doesn’t require you to spend huge amounts.
This type of marketing is when your existing customers are so happy with your product or service that they tell others about it.
Most small businesses neglect this form of marketing but are losing out on new customers by doing that. Focus on improving your product or service so your customers would be so thrilled about it that they can shut up about your business when with friends.
You should also encourage word-of-mouth marketing among existing customers by providing incentives like discounts to existing customers who refer others.
5. Not Paying Attention to Your Competitors
I know you’ve probably heard you should focus on yourself and not care about what’s going on around you. Well, that doesn’t hold much water when dealing with marketing.
You need to know what your competitors are doing, what they seem to be doing consistently and what they did once and stopped, the approaches they are taking, and the products they are launching.
All these will give you a better understanding of what’s working in your market and what’s not working. So instead of making enemies of your competitors, try studying what they are doing in their business.
6. Not Doing Any Marketing At All
A good percentage of small businesses do not do any form of marketing and that is absurd because no matter how good a product or service you have, without marketing, will just not grow.
Marketing is the energy businesses need to grow and every business should be doing a form of marketing or the other to reach more customers.
Do not forget the aim of marketing is to grow your business and make it profitable. Don’t be afraid to kill any marketing that is not producing results. Experiment with several channels and strategies to see which will work best for you.
Avoid the listed marketing mistakes and watch your small business grow.