Small businesses often have tight budgets, and limited time available for marketing. The biggest marketing mistake any small business can make is thinking that marketing isn’t necessary. Marketing is the best way to clarify your business’ goals, identify a target audience, and determine a course to reach them. What are some other common mistakes that small business owners make? Here are a few:
Not thinking strategically
Most firms think first in terms of activities – social media, blogging, etc. – but there really needs to be a significant effort to think strategically about who are your most profitable clients, where you have comparative advantages, and how you can differentiate yourself in the marketplace. Once you have those basic understandings, you can better attack how to use marketing activities to attract more of those profitable customers.
All businesses need concise branding. Too often small business owners are neglect branding because they are too busy or think that because they only have one location, branding isn’t important. Develop your message and logo and keep them consistent. Your business’ message should remain consistent and well defined. The verbiage involved should make the customer understand the values that comprises your business. This will help your message spread faster than it would otherwise.
Constantly looking for new customers
A small business’ existing customers are their most important customers. Too many small businesses mistakenly determine that growing a new client base is extremely important, but the best way to keep your numbers growing is by taking care of those customers you already have. Customer service is not a lost art, it is a bond that has allowed you to take your small business to the next level. Network with and understand your existing customers; their positive endorsement will make your business more attractive and their feedback is invaluable.
Thinking that more revenue = more staff
Always remember to put a budget in place, even if you are stretching pennies. Staffing is a budgeting concern. Overstaffing can sometimes actually lead to a drop in production. Keeping a small staff helps keep money fluid, but also can help keep everyone busy and well paid. Finding the right balance where you can maintain production while keeping fewer, better paid staff and everyone will be more invested in your success.
Underestimating the value of their product or service
If you sell your time or your specialty item at too low a cost to drive sales, you may be giving the impression that the product is actually cheap, not just low priced. Keep your prices reasonable, with a set mark-up rate, so you can see a return on sales.
I invite you to contact me
If you have struggled taking your business or customer base to the next level, I invite you to contact me. I have coached entrepreneurs and small business owners across the country on the strategies of growing profitable business segments by identifying and focusing on niches. Email or call today to see how a niche marketing strategy can help you grow.