"The most common marketing mistakes made by small business owners"
Often times, we are called in by a small business owner to solidify their marketing, and grow business for them only after they have exhausted their own minds and resources, and have reached a near desperate state.
One of the most common things I hear is, "I wish I had contacted you guys earlier." This is then often followed with stories of mistakes, bad decisions, and at what point they realized they needed to bring on help. I would like to think it's my charm and good looks (lots of people… laughing here) that make people feel comfortable enough to admit they wish they had spoken with us sooner. The truth is, I have just heard the same stories over and over again, and by now I have learned to be able to pinpoint areas where clients have hurt themselves, and identify and isolate the most effective areas where we can step in and get results.
"Relied on "Word of Mouth" – There is not now, nor will there ever be a more trusted form of delivery in marketing than to have a familiar, competent person talk highly about a company or product. It takes hard work to become a well-respected and well liked brand, and each company should strive for excellence in all interactions with customers or clients. Positive word of mouth is a result of your product or service, and should not be confused for an actual marketing effort. The problem creeps in when business slows down. If you have not kept a consistent marketing presence, there are less people are talking about you. Successful and efficient marketing will bring more people in the door for you to impress. Then, obviously, the more people that you can impress, the more the positive word of mouth is spread.
"Forget about marketing when things get busy" – It is great to be busy, right? Well, the answer is yes. However, often in a small business when things get hectic, it becomes a matter of what ball is going to get dropped. Often times, the ball that gets dropped is marketing. The peaks and valleys of business need to become a steady upward trend. Another topic for another day is the difficulty in scaling a small business, but in order to achieve sustainable growth, you must be consistent in your marketing approach. Always do something. Most small business owners think of marketing as a relatively direct function of business, yet fail to see the importance of long term company branding. Especially in small business, each impression you make on your clients and prospective clients is important. Eliminating marketing can have severe long term effects on your company's brand, and the psyche of prospective clients/customers. Regardless of the size of the market, or competition, the consistent marketer will win.
"It's my company, and I know what I am doing to market it." – There are very smart business owners who are very savvy marketers for their companies. Then, there are business owners who think they are savvy marketers for their company, who are actually doing more harm than good. If you are the best architect in the world, you should spend your time and energy on being an architect. Business owners have to wear many hats, but must also learn to be able to recognize the gigantic leap in efficiency created when skilled workers or consultants come aboard and are allowed to do what they are great at. For small businesses, it can be hard to recognize that marketing is an investment as opposed to a cost. That realization will save money, frustration, and time and can ultimately be a major contributing factor in the future success or failure of a business.
Who am I?... I am someone who realizes how much I don't know. I have a passion for growing businesses, and love the blend of creativity and structure required for successful marketing. Made some mistakes, then made bigger ones, but have occasionally done things well. I love to see business grow, and would welcome the opportunity to help out anyone I can. Feel free to email me with any questions/comments/hate mail/ etc…