Now we all have ambitions for our own small businesses, but whether that’s attracting new customers, growing sales or increasing the amount of visitors we get to our website, there’s no escaping the fact that all rely, and quite heavily in fact, on marketing. Now that doesn’t mean that your small business must have an in-house marketing team, or a fancy marketing agency working on your behalf, but it does mean that you need to know the most common marketing mistakes that small businesses make, and how to avoid them.
Myth 1: “Marketing is too expensive”
Many small business believe that they can’t justify devoting money to marketing because it’s ‘too expensive’, but we are living in an age that makes dispelling this myth quite simple… there really are so many great and, yes, cost-effective ways to marketing your company with very impactful and measurable results.
Let’s take your website. Maybe you don’t have one, the one that you do have is redundant because it’s time consuming and ‘expensive to run’, or you just don’t have the technical skills to manage it yourself? Well we’re sorry to burst your bubble, but sadly this is no longer an excuse as there are some great ‘drag and drop’ website builders out there. Let’s take Wix for example, there are thousands of great templates to choose from, you need no html or coding experience, and the free tools included mean that you can have a functional, search engine optimised and often beautiful website up and running in just a matter of hours. Remember your website is often the first thing that your customers will see, so making sure that it looks professional, is well written, and most importantly can be found with a Google search (thank you SEO), is essential.
Then there’s social media. Think back to the marketers of yesteryear, if they knew there was now one website with over 2 billion active monthly users (no prizes for guessing which one!), whereby you can advertise your business to your exact target group, in the exact town or city of your choice, directly for a seriously small amount of money? Then I’m pretty sure they’d be wondering what the hell we do with the rest of our time in order to promote our businesses.
Yes these are just two examples, but the point is that it’s important to remember that spending money on marketing should not be seen as an unjustifiable business expense, it’s an investment in your business, and if you’re clever with that investment, it can stretch a lot further than you might think...
Myth 2: “I can just do it myself”
As mentioned above, yes you can! In this day and age there are so many tools to helping us to be great marketers. The key here however is being honest with yourself and focusing on what skills, and time, you do or do not have. There’s no denying that running a business is hard work, and the one thing that most business owners would agree with needing more of (OK maybe aside from money), is time. So once you’re done with the finance, logistics, selling, invoicing, and all other aspects of day-to-day business life, how much time is left to actually market your business and keep the customers coming through the door?
If this sounds like you, then consider your options as hiring help doesn’t have to be scary or cost the world. Freelance marketers, such as ourselves, can work on your marketing for anything from 4 to 40 hours a month, giving you complete flexibility to get the professional help you need, but only when you really need it. This also means that when you have a busy week of meetings, or you simply need a holiday, then your marketing doesn’t have to stop, so you can return home to an inbox full of enquiries to get stuck in to...
Myth 3: “We don’t need marketing. We’re doing fine without it.”
Now this is an opinion held by lots of small businesses. There can be a belief that your product or service has such a demand that the phone will always be ringing, or there will always be a queue at the door. If this is you, then you have done a great job and we can only congratulate you. But step back for a minute and think of the bigger picture. Is this success sustainable? Are there really not going to be any competitors challenging you in the future? If you started to market your business couldn’t you increase sales and demand even further?
You have worked hard to get your business where it is, but there are so many affordable ways to get more people picking up the phone, more people visiting your website, more people talking about your business with their peers. So consider how marketing can help you achieve this, and there might just be an even bigger pot of gold waiting for you at the end of the rainbow.
If you’d like to learn further how to improve your business marketing, then get in touch with us for a free and informal chat. If you simply don’t have the time to focus on your marketing, then we can help to support you with affordable and flexible marketing support to suit your very needs, starting at just a couple of hours a month.