I come across many small business owners, and when working with them I see the same marketing mistakes. I want to help you avoid making them, so I have put together this article to discuss the ten most common.
1. No marketing plan
There is an old quote – ‘Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail’. Many small business owners would rather hope or wing it with their marketing than spend some time mapping everything out and forming a plan of action. But if you don’t have a plan, you are probably going to fail. You can be more effective with your marketing and your content when it is mapped out and documented.
2. No marketing budget
Small business owners should see marketing as an investment rather than an expense. An investment is something that you buy and will see a value from in the future. Many small business owners have a limited budget. However, if you allow some budget each month for your marketing, then you are investing in your business with the aim of encouraging future enquiries and customers. Those who don’t invest in marketing are unlikely to succeed.
3. Not measuring your marketing
Many small business owners I speak to don’t measure their marketing. If you are investing in your marketing, you need to know what you are getting back. In other words, which marketing activities are working and which are not. In this way you can analyse the results and reinvest in the successful marketing activities. Also remember that it doesn’t happen overnight. Keep building that trust and brand awareness, and the customers will come.
4. Targeting the wrong audience
Many small business owners come to me and say that their target audience is everyone. If you market to everyone, you will get no one. It’s important to spend some time defining exactly who your potential customers are and where they spend their time. You can then use this knowledge to establish your marketing activities and determine how you are going to reach them.
5. Waiting for customers to come to you
I’ve heard many times from small business owners that they want to set up a business doing something they love. They get everything ready to start their business, then they open and expect people to just come to them. Customers are not going to come to you if you don’t tell them you’re there. You also need to tell them what you do and how your products and services can help them.
6. Being too busy in the business
This is difficult to manage. When you are serving your customers or working with clients, taking time out to work on your marketing can end up at the bottom of your to-do list. But it’s important to keep your marketing consistent, so you have that steady stream of customers coming in.
7. Only marketing using one channel
You shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket and hope that’s going to work. This links to having a marketing plan and defining your target audience to establish an integrated approach to your marketing. Marketing using more than one channel will allow you to compare results and see what works best. Various marketing channels will achieve numerous results and attract different audiences too.
8. No consistency in your brand and messages
When you’re at the beginning of your business journey it’s important to think about the longer term. Where do you see the business heading? What is your vision and what are your values for the business? Spending time on your brand at the beginning establishes your business professionally. It’s also important to be consistent in your brand and the messages you put out. Are you saying the same thing across different channels? Again, having a marketing plan will help establish this. Ensure your messages and your brand are consistent across all channels: social media, emails, website, adverts and more.
9. Neglecting your existing customers
It costs five to seven times more to acquire new customers than it does to retain your existing customers. Think about your marketing strategy for existing customers, for example with customer customers surveys, asking for reviews, offering a referral scheme, and upselling your products and services.
10. Not allowing time
You need to invest time in your marketing, at least four hours a week. Schedule time in your diary each week. Why not have a marketing morning every Wednesday and make this non-negotiable in your diary? It’s important to take time to work on your business and not just in your business.
If you would like to avoid making these common marketing mistakes, why not book a discovery call with us? We can talk them through in more detail, so you will be one step ahead and achieving marketing success.
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