Owning a small business is a big responsibility. A small business owner must constantly be aware of and react to many moving parts. One of the main parts of running a company is marketing. Marketing is how a business acquires new customers and maintains existing customers. Explore the most common marketing errors small businesses make to learn what you should avoid.
Going over budget or failing to budget at all
Going over budget is a common reason some businesses fail. A small business is typically on a tighter budget than a large corporation. Not allocating any money to marketing is a mistake, but allocating an unrealistically large amount can quickly ruin a business. Your marketing goals should be clearly defined, and you should have a set plan in place. Be sure to sit down with any investors or business partners to decide on a realistic and affordable budget for your marketing methods. Then, divide it up among multiple marketing facets to ensure your business has a well-rounded and properly funded marketing budget.
Neglecting digital marketing
Many small businesses focus solely on traditional marketing methods. This can be anything from billboards to commercials to printed advertisements. These are all essential parts of marketing and increasing brand awareness, but digital is king right now. Most people get their information from the Internet in some way, whether it’s through social media, a company website, or an online news source. Be sure to pay close attention to digital marketing, as this is a must for local businesses. Things such as e-mail marketing, social media campaigns, and search engine optimization are also must-haves for businesses in the digital era.
Not playing into their unique strengths
Small local businesses have a leg up on big-box competition that many of them forget about: their communities. Community members are much more enthusiastic about supporting local businesses than they are about using national corporations. Part of this is figuring out the role your business plays in the local community. Maybe it fills a need, or maybe it adds some art or culture. Every business has a reason why their community loves it. Figure out this reason and highlight it in every channel possible.