I was speaking recently with a frustrated business owner. He was spending precious time and money on a lot of stuff to drive new business and sales growth. But customers weren’t beating a path to his business. There was no marketing pay off. Sound familiar?
He had some great ideas and was certainly putting in the resources. Unfortunately, when it comes to marketing, effort and money won’t guarantee results. It’s not about doing a lot, it’s about doing it WELL!
So why do so many small businesses struggle to get results from their marketing? There are a lot of reasons, but here is what I find to be the biggest issues.
7 Reasons Small Businesses Struggle With Marketing
1. Lack of Planning. You only have so much time and money. Planning helps you prioritize and build synergy by integrating a variety of tactics with the same message so it gets through the clutter. When you have an idea for a new marketing effort, ask yourself “How does this fit with what I am already doing”. Timing is everything and you will get better results when you combine tactics and messages.
2. Failure to Understand Your Products or Services. Like customers, your products are not all created equal. Some are more profitable and some are unique. Others are simply standard for your type of business. In other words, customers expect you to have them. Focus your resources, time and money, on those that are premium or profitable. Let the others sell themselves. For more on this topic, check out my article, How to Diversify Products to Maximize Sales and Profit
3. Failure to Define Your Target. Don’t try to serve everyone. Figure out who the ideal customers are for each of your products or service categories. Then market with them in mind. Speak their language, understand their needs and solve their problems.
4. Inadequate Follow-up. Few sales are produced with one call or discussion. Prospects need nurturing. It takes 7-10 contacts on average to convert a sale. For high ticket purchases, it may take more. Regardless of which methods or tools you use to generate and nurture your prospects, follow up and stay connected. You’ll turn more prospects into paying customers.
5. Inconsistent Implementation. When something works, keep doing it. Build a system to make it easier next time around. Document what you do and say and how you do it. It will save you time and money so you can do more with less effort. When your marketing is on auto-pilot it is easier to do or delegate to others. Consistency is the key to generating more profit.
6. Inadequate Information. The more you know about your customers, your strengths, competition, and past performance (results), the better your marketing will be. You will save money and time when you stop chasing the wrong customers and focus on what you do well.
7. Lack of Patience and Commitment. Marketing is a process, not a one-time event. You need to be in it for the long-haul. If you treat it like a faucet that you turn on and off, you create large peaks and valleys in sales. It’s costly. Instead, focus on doing a few things consistently well. Add or try new things but be willing to test, measure and modify as needed. Your commitment to building a pipeline of ideal customers will pay dividends now and in the future.
If you want to attract more quality customers into your small business, address these issues and make marketing something you do every day. To learn more, check out my article, The #1 Rule to Drive Business Growth.
More Ideas to Grow Your Business
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