Small businesses are often started with a lot of enthusiasm and the kind of wide-eyed hope that you expect only from Disney princesses. The sad reality of this market segment remains that in the absence of a good marketing plan in place, these small start ups are forced to suffer gruesome losses in the first few years of their existence or shut down prematurely. The only real remedy for this horrific fate is for small businesses to avoid the following marketing blunders.
1. Not announcing arrival
The good old “coming soon” poster is a great way for a business to generate customer interest even before it has actually opened for business. This business gimmick builds the buzz around the business though a lot of new small businesses tend to wait till they have properly set up to begin their marketing efforts which mean that they miss out on the chance to jumpstart their marketing efforts. In terms of actual business, announcing arrival can bring you customers from day 1 and get your brand name talked about early on. Failing to do so obviously means that customers don’t even get to hear about you for a good few weeks after the opening of your business.
2. Not investing in targeted marketing
The single biggest reason why marketing fails for small businesses is because their efforts aren’t targeted enough. For example, a school supplies brand needs to be seen and heard in places where kids and parents who buy supplies for them are likely to be (suburbs, department stores, malls, school districts, larger office buildings, fast food joints) during key selling times (start of school year, mid-terms, SATs). If the business’ marketing strategy misses these markers, it isn’t likely to do so well.
3. Overlooking social media marketing
Social media marketing has become hugely important for both customers as well as business owners. Any new small business that fails to include social media into their marketing strategy is bound to lose customers over time.
4. Spending too much on fancy marketing alone
Marketing is very easy to overdo if you don’t know what your audience likes. Most small businesses spend a lot on fancy posters or pricey billboards. The price for these expenses ends up chipping net profits. clever marketing ideas like on-the-spot-discounts through scratch cards, sending brochures and pamphlets to existing customers and good old fliers and posters on the shop front/office frontage are rather cheap marketing alternatives the still have a huge impact on the customer.