The success of a small business, or any business for that matter, is directly related to sales. This seems relatively straightforward, right? Well, it’s not as simple as just creating something people will want to buy. There are thousands of companies that offer an amazing product or service and still go under within their first year. Oftentimes these businesses are forgetting one key thing: if people aren’t aware of your product or service, how can they be expected to patron your business? This is where marketing comes in: a crucial mix of advertising, promotion, and public relations that will get your desired audience to pay attention to you.
As a small business, you might think that your resources are simply too limited for marketing. Wrong. In this day and age, you can’t afford not to do so. Here are some mistakes you might already be making that are hurting your business:
1. Not making ANY marketing plan
You think you’ve come up with a product or service that’s SO exceptional that people will naturally be drawn to your business, right? Sorry to burst your bubble, but this is completely untrue. A lot of small businesses are eager to see an immediate return on all the money they’ve invested in starting a business, and see marketing as another unneeded expense. This will end up being their demise in the long run. Simply outlining “the four P’s” of your business: price, product, place, and promotion, will make it infinitely clearer for you to develop ways to promote your business. Even a basic marketing plan will help you tailor your products and services, identify your target audience, outline ways to increase your visibility, and provide measurable goals to help you easily see your return on investment.
2. Not having a website
You might think that because you’re a small, local business you don’t need a website. According to a consumer study done by BIA/Kelsey, 97 percent of consumers now use online media when researching products or services in their local area. This means if you’re one of the local business without a website, these consumers will not even consider you as an option. Not only do you need to have a website, it needs to be appealing and stand out amongst competitors.
3. Not paying attention to your competition
Every business model will have competition. If you choose not to acknowledge your competitors or pay close attention to them, you are doing your company a potentially fatal disservice. Find your competitors based on what products and services they offer, and pay attention to them closely. Look at what tactics they do and don’t use to get business, what works for them and what doesn’t. By analyzing their efforts, you can develop strategies to edge them out. If they have a particularly successful promotion, you can look at ways to best it, or on the contrary, not repeat their failed efforts.
While marketing can be complex, at its core the point is simply to drive sales, something every business owner can agree is their chief goal. By making sure you are implementing the three points mentioned, you’ll be on your way to successful marketing and in turn, a profitable small business.
For more marketing advice, or help putting together a marketing plan or website, Studio Brand Collective is here to help! Contact us via our website or Tweet us @StudioBrandC!