The Internet has opened a new world of possibilities for small businesses. What was once dominated by large, nationally-known corporations has now morphed into a place where every business, no matter their size, needs to start. Now more than ever, it’s easier to start a small business, but the daunting truth is that 80 percent of small businesses fail within the first 18 months. There’s one area of business that is often a struggle for small businesses, and that area is marketing.
If you own or plan to start a small business, we want to make sure you don’t join the countless other failed businesses. Steer clear from these three common marketing mistakes made by small businesses and be a part of the successful 20 percent!
Mistake #1: Lack of Understanding
Let’s say you just started your new business after months (even years) of developing your unique business idea. It isn’t until a few months after you’ve established your business that you discover that your idea isn’t different, your pricing is off, and you don’t have a market or the contacts needed to sustain your business. This lack of due diligence happens more times than not, and it’s what causes the 80 percent of small businesses to close shop in no time.
Before you take out a loan or invest in your business idea, take some much needed time to get a defined understanding of your idea and what the landscape around it looks like. Turn to the Internet and see how original or unique this idea is, and take a look at what’s currently being done, both locally and globally. By taking the time to understand and identify your market before moving forward with your idea, you’ll increase your business’s chance for success.
Mistake #2: Lack of Planning
Once you’ve found and established your market, you must create a marketing business plan. This plan should clearly outline how you will divide your funding to reach specific goals. Here’s an example: if you’ve identified 18 to 24-year old females as your target audience, a marketing approach with an emphasis on social media marketing could be more effective than local newspaper ads.
By building a strong marketing plan, you will better understand how much you’ll need to spend, how many people you could reach, and how many prospects you’ll need to convert to break even or generate a profit.
Mistake #3: Unwilling to Change an Executed Plan
After you’ve completed the tasks above, it’s now time to execute your plan. Even if you’ve been realistic with your expectations, your market is still unpredictable in their interests and there’s no guarantee they’ll invest in your business. That being said, good business owners will know when to wait for the hard times to pass or when to rethink their business plan. Keep in mind, if you do have to reassess your plan, there is no shame in it. Just make sure to do your research, crunch your numbers and decide a new practical action plan before executing.
Starting a new business is rarely easy, but as long as you plan your marketing strategy ahead of time, market to the right audience, and allow flexibility when it comes to your business marketing plan, your small business can succeed and be a part of that small, but strong, 20 percent.
To learn more about small business marketing, contact GreenMellen today!
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