In the rush to open your small new business, you’re probably occupied with a thousand details. In many ways, the timeline sets itself according to what has to be done in order to launch your product or service.
Unfortunately, what gets left behind is often an equally important, but seemingly invisible consideration – marketing your small business.
By the time you get around thinking about marketing your small business, you may be low on time and money! Not exactly the best conditions in which to make important decisions about marketing strategy!
Making small business marketing decisions under the gun leaves you with a greater risk for making mistakes. Marketing is one place where even small mistakes can have lasting consequences.
Following are a few of the most common small business marketing mistakes.
Not Doing Your Homework
First and foremost, you have to spend a little time researching your industry. Start with your competition. What are they doing to market their business? Take note of where and how they market their product or service, especially the successful ones. Call in or email an inquiry as if you are a potential client. See what their process is, what type of material they send you, and how they follow up.
You can also join an organization like the local Chamber of Commerce to strategize with other business owners in your area or field. Developing relationships with other small business owners allows you to leverage combined expertise, and may also leads you to joint marketing ventures that can save you time and money.
Spending Too Much, Too Fast
It’s easy to jump in and start spending money, especially if you have it in the way of a small business loan or other start-up capital.
But this is one of the most dangerous mistakes you can make when planning your small business marketing strategy. More is not always better. Sometimes it’s just more.
You want to spend smart, not necessarily big. Don’t spend a dime until you’ve done the research to back up your investment, and then start small. It’s much, much easier to add additional marketing than it is to ramp back after you’ve already spent the money.
Spending money too fast can mean running through most of your start-up capital too soon, leaving your business without the funds it needs to survive.
Spending Too Little
In an effort to curb costs and ration your budget over the long, slow haul to profitability, you may just make the opposite mistake of spending too much money and spend too little.
Starting a business is scary, and most small business owners don’t have an unlimited time to turn to a profit. With a tangible or intangible deadline looming, it’s common for small business owners to keep a death grip on whatever capital they have “just in case”.
But you will have to spend money to make money, at least on some level.
If you have the jitters about spending your working capital, start small with something that has measurable results. You need to be able to determine if your campaign has produced results within a short period of time and before you’ve spent too much money. This way you can kill it and move onto something different if it’s not working or ramp up the existing campaign if it’s doing its job!
The internet makes it possible to tap into previously unheard of quantities of information. That’s both good and bad for anyone looking online for small business marketing advice.
With the advent of blogs and free websites, everyone’s an expert! But they’re not, really. They only play one on TV!
Seriously, though, carefully choose the advice you seek out and use to market your small business. To avoid getting bogged down with too much information, choose one or two sources you know to be reliable, and resist the urge to cruise the internet for fifty more opinions.
Take it Slow
Launching a small business is a learning experience above all else. Avoid making rash (or expensive) decisions when it comes to marketing your small business, at least in the beginning.
By taking it slow, you can try different marketing techniques and check the results as you go, mitigating the consequences for your long term small business marketing plan.
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