If you are running a small business, there are all sorts of different areas of responsibility that you need to manage and control. One of the most important aspects is marketing your company successfully. Otherwise, you can easily find yourself in a situation in which you are struggling to attract the customers that you would otherwise expect to. While you may well be going in with all the enthusiasm in the world, there are actually plenty of common small business marketing mistakes that you could be making that you are better off avoiding. Simply having the knowledge of what these are and how you are able to sidestep them successfully can really make all the difference. Bearing this in mind, here are some of the most common small business marketing mistakes that are made time and time again for one reason or another.
You Have Not Created a Comprehensive Marketing Plan
The first problem that you could find yourself up against is based on the simple enough but still problematic issue that you have simply not crafted a marketing plan that you are able to put into action. The initial part of this is profiling your ideal consumer to work out who you should be targeting exactly. You can then look into whether you are going to mainly focus on traditional marketing, digital marketing, or a combination of different approaches. This should be clearly matched up alongside the budget that you have available to spend. As part of your marketing plan, you should also have in place the opportunity to review the amount that you are spending as and when this is required. This way, you are going to be able to work out the areas that are working for you and the ones that are better off cutting. If you want to understand more about marketing for your small business, you could even look into completing a qualification such as an MBA marketing online that will help to equip you with many of the necessary skills that you could easily be missing out on otherwise.
You Do Not Have a Website
While it may seem like it is a simple enough problem, there is no doubt that having a website acts as a hub for everything that you are doing in your small business. You are missing out on a major part of your online presence if you fail to create one. Even if you are not selling directly through it, you are failing to allow people to naturally come across your company if you do not develop this online tool. When you are creating a website, it should not simply be a placeholder that you do not think twice about. Instead, it should offer everything that a customer could want and have excellent design and copywriting work done. Straight away, you are going to set yourself apart from all of the competition that does not have the same facility. You should also be looking to update your site on a regular basis with fresh content. Usually, this is going to take the form of a blog page. There is no doubt that it can prove to be invaluable as this will help to boost your search engine rankings and put you in a stronger position here.
You Are Failing to Track Your Results
This is a subject that has been touched upon in the first section of the blog post, but there is no doubt that the tracking of your results can go a long way towards ensuring that you are moving in the right direction in terms of the impact that you are having with all of your marketing activities. For example, you can certainly make the most of tools such as Google Analytics, as these can help out in a big way in terms of being able to see exactly where the traffic on your website is coming from and which pages are sticking around on. At the same time, you can also see the ones that they are bouncing away from without a second thought, and this gives you the clear and obvious opportunity to do something about this. Even if you are using traditional marketing techniques, there is a lot that you can do in terms of checking out whether or not you are having the type of impact that you would otherwise like to. One of the biggest issues with not tracking your results is that you could be making mistakes, but you would have no real idea about them, as well as no sense of how you are going to be able to make the necessary improvements that will turn things around once again.
You Are Not Checking Out What Your Competitors are Doing
Keeping a close eye on what your competitors are doing can go such a long way in terms of ensuring that they are not getting ahead of you and enjoying the success that you otherwise would be able to. While this does not mean that you should simply be copying every single thing that they do, there is a lot to be said for aiming to emulate your nearest rivals as and when possible. You can also put yourself in a situation in which you are able to learn from their mistakes, and you are not going to do anything that could otherwise prove to be problematic for one reason or another. The more that you pay attention, the better that you are going to be able to learn from mistakes as and when they are happening.
You Do Not Have a Plan for How to Use Social Media
Of course, your social media can prove to be one of the most valuable tools that you have at your disposal – and this is true whether you are running a small or a large company. However, at the same time, you need to use it in the right way. This does not mean posting randomly and sporadically. It also does not mean that you are not engaging with your consumers whenever possible. The best ways in which you are going to be able to combat these problems are twofold. To begin with, you should have a social media content plan that keeps you posting on a regular basis. You should base this around the major events that are taking place throughout the course of the calendar year, as well as any events that are symbolic to your own company. At the same time, you also need to have a designated person or team who is in charge of your social media and making all the necessary updates along the way.
You are Not Responding to Any PR Challenges
Even if you are only running a small business, there is still the potential that PR challenges and even disasters are going to occur somewhere along the way. However, if you not dealing with these properly, you can easily find yourself in a situation in which the narrative is not being controlled. As you would expect, this can prove to be a major problem. In the event that major issues occur, it may even be worth hiring a PR team who are able to manage any issues as and when they happen to occur. For the ones that you are aiming to deal with yourself, it is certainly important that you have a plan of action in place that you are able to enact. Try to think about any ramifications that may happen to occur. At the same time, you should learn from any mistakes that have occurred along the way to ensure that they are not repeated. After all, there is simply no point in the same type of challenges coming up time and time again without dealing with them properly.
You Hire the Wrong Marketing Team
At some point in the life of your small business, it may well be the case that you are going to want to hire people to do your marketing for you. However, this does not mean that you should simply be bringing anybody on board. In fact, you should be closely checking their credentials to put yourself in the strongest position in terms of knowing that they are able to provide the level of service that you are looking for and expecting at your company. Of course, it may not be the case that you are simply going to leave them to it. Being able to have an oversight is certainly going to be an advantage. Once you have one or two staff members on board, it is certainly going to be easier to bring more and more into the fold.
You Are Juggling Too Many Channels that Are Not Working
In the modern world, there are more and more marketing channels than there ever were before. This certainly means that you need to be utilizing the ones that are working well for your company. On the other hand, this does not mean that you should be simply juggling all of them without a second thought. For example, TikTok has taken off as the new form of social media that many companies are looking to use. However, it does not mean that you should simply embrace it without a second thought. Instead, you are going to be better off working out whether or not it actually fits in with your marketing plan and is useful in terms of what you want to do. If not, you should think about placing a higher degree of focus on the areas that are actually proving to work for you.
You Are Not Keeping a Close Eye on Your Budget
Referring back to the point that we made at the start in terms of having a marketing budget that you need to stick close to, there is no doubt that you need to keep an eye on your financial spending. This way, you are not going to find that it is all going down the drain without you really knowing what you are achieving from it. You may well find that a lot of your money is going into one area which is simply not working in the way in which you otherwise hoped that it would. In this situation, it is certainly worth having a quick reassessment to work out where your money could be better spent. You might need to go back to the drawing board in terms of your marketing plan to put yourself in a better situation.
You Are Not Doing Enough Marketing Work
The final issue that we are going to discuss may well feel like it is one that is very obvious, but it is going to be worth mentioning anyway. You could easily find yourself in a situation in which you are simply not doing enough marketing work, and this is the main issue that is preventing you from attracting the customer base that you otherwise believe that you deserve. Therefore, you should certainly assess your main activities to work out if you are doing enough and you are reaching the customer base that you thought you should. Otherwise, it could be the time for a change and to increase your marketing spending and do more.
If you can avoid making a combination of these different mistakes, you can certainly find yourself in a better situation in terms of ability to market your business to the audience that you think that it deserves. Ultimately, constantly reassessing what you are doing and updating your marketing plan should be seen as the first port of call. Once you have done this, you are more likely to see where the main mistakes are coming from and the improvement plan that you are able to put in place that will help to turn things around. Marketing should be considered of the highest importance to your company, and you should constantly be in the process of refining what you are doing.