3 Big-Business Things a Small Business Must Do

DANIEL B. KLINE | March 21, 2019

article image
If you're running a small business, you don't have the same resources that your larger competitors do, so you have to pick and choose where you make investments. Even so, there are certain areas in which it's important to be on a level playing field. If you don't offer these three things like the big boys do, you may alienate customers. The good news is that for two of the three, you can easily find the tools to make it happen. The third is tougher. You can do it, but you'll have to rely on your ability to pick the right merchandise and work with your vendors.

Spotlight

Small Business Development & International Trade Center

The Small Business Development & International Trade Center (SBDITC) provides a unique set of resources to assist potential and existing businesses achieve success! Our staff and counselors are here to assist you in realizing your business goals in the global market.

OTHER ARTICLES

A small business guide to mastering accounts receivable

Article | March 9, 2020

Most companies go out of business because they run out of cash. One of the biggest factors that can impact a business’ cash flow is how well they manage their accounts receivable. A well-oiled accounts receivable process can save you much pain down the road. But first, let’s take a look at what accounts receivable is. Then, we’ll tackle how you can better manage it and get the most out of it.

Read More

7 Intrinsic Small Business Marketing Mistakes to Look Out For

Article | March 9, 2020

Marketing is the biggest challenge for small business owners because there is no one-size-fits-all approach to promote your business. And in this process, lot many marketing mistakes are incurred by small business owners. So here is a few intrinsic yet avoidable small business marketing mistakes. There are countless marketing activity combinations to choose from; all you have to do is tailor to the marketing activities that best suit your company. Small business owners frequently try new marketing methods without conducting extensive market research or measuring the results, resulting in losses. To figure out how and where to spend marketing resources for small businesses, you must first avoid marketing blunders. Effective marketing techniques are far more than just using channels, such-and-such an approach or content strategy. Here are the top 7 most typical small business marketing mistakes to avoid in your business. Not Having Written Marketing Plan A business needs to have a well-defined marketing campaigns goal that the marketing plan is supposed to achieve. Small businesses without a strong marketing plan face failure and lack the proper marketing budget. However, it is equally important to have the marketing plans and strategy documented to increase the effectiveness of the business. A business started without a marketing plan in place is a total waste of money and time. A marketing plan generally has the following: Marketing SMART objectives and tactics for achieving them. What sets your company/service/product apart from the competition? (USP). Target audience persona. Pricing strategy. Marketing budget and measurable ROI on previous marketing strategies Metrics and how you plan to evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing strategies. It is crucial to have a marketing plan because it provides a clear direction for the future, evaluates past performance, and educates anyone on your overall strategy. A well-documented marketing plan will make it easier to plan future marketing strategies and ensure that you use best practices in small business marketing. Not having a written marketing plan is one of the most common small business marketing mistakes. No Systematic Marketing Budget When promoting on any social media site, it's smart to approach cautiously and, more importantly, with a particular budget in mind. However, no systematic and realistic marketing budget plan can cost you a significant loss of time and a waste of money. It is recommended that small businesses devote 9-12 percent of their income to marketing. If you are a start-up, though, you may need to invest more to establish brand awareness. If you cannot give 50% of your time and energy to marketing, then the best option to go for is outsourcing your marketing. This holds two benefits; firstly, you can put up your 50% of time and energy into other business tasks, and secondly, a good marketing agency will do a better job of marketing than you would. When you have decided to outsource your marketing, you will have to set a reasonable budget for doing the same. Determine the budget based on your industry and resources, but it is an investment at the end of the day. A portion of your budget should be set aside for technology and software tools to provide a return on investment for your overall marketing efforts. Good marketing has a direct and positive impact on the amount of money your company generates. Lack of Strong Online Presence From a marketing perspective, not having a website is devastating and a substantial small business marketing mistake. Unfortunately, as per the study, nearly half of small businesses in the US don’t have a website. Many small business owners do not see the need for an online presence for them, and this could do fine some ten years back but now, when the world has transformed into the digital world, surviving without a website is nearly impossible. As per the research, more than 90% of consumers search online for services or products. Remember that websites should be designed for conversion rather than just information delivery. According to Neil Patel, businesses with conversion-optimized websites are "twice as likely to see a large increase in sales." Having an online presence is one of the best marketing approaches with many benefits. It enhances accessibility, reaches a broader audience, builds customer relationships and trust, enables effortless marketing, and many more. A strong internet presence may give insightful data that can be used to measure and track the effectiveness of various marketing campaigns. Marketing Metrics Ignorance One of the risky small business marketing mistakes is failing to understand your marketing metrics and ratios. However, most small businesses do not track marketing metrics. Metrics allow you to track your progress and measure your success. Marketing analytics allows you to see what works and what doesn't, assists brands in determining whether campaigns are successful, and assists you in recognizing what adjustments need to be made and providing insights to adjust future campaigns accordingly. Knowing your marketing metrics is essential no matter what type of business you run. Google Analytics and Google Search Console are tools that provide information about your visitors. Tracking is essential because what is not measured cannot be improved. Here is the suggestion that you can implement, set aside time each week to evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing. Take note of what works and what doesn’t and use that information to guide your next marketing campaign. No Emphasis on Valuing the Current Customers It is natural to focus on acquiring new customers to see those numbers increase, but never forget about your existing customers in this ongoing process. According to studies, it costs six times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing one. Listen to customer feedback because, according to Forrester Research, nearly 70% of consumers read customer reviews before buying a product or service. Be quick to appease customers when they complain; losing an existing customer indeed costs more than acquiring a new one. This will increase their trust in your brand. Finally, a satisfied customer will return to your business and spend more time and money. Furthermore, happy and loyal customers are more likely to spread the word, and word of mouth is still the most potent form of marketing. Therefore, loyal customers can be your company's most influential advocate. Right Audience Was Not Targeted No matter how well your campaign and marketing strategy may be, if you are not targeting the right audience, then all your money and effort are in vain and can be one of the most pivotal small business marketing mistakes. Sometimes targeting the wrong audience is worse than not targeting the market because you find out that none of them respond to your marketing efforts, and it leads to a total waste of your time and effort without any return. Spend some time learning about your customers' behavior, their goals, what motivates them, and so on. Market research from your customer base, such as surveys and interviews, allows you to create a strong target audience persona. Target people you know will be interested in your service. If you try to talk to everyone in marketing, you will have a difficult time reaching anyone. However, if you target your ideal buyer, you will be able to make the most of your marketing budget while also attracting and retaining more customers. Ignore Reviewing Your Competitors Many small business owners avoid keeping track of their competitors, which can be considered small business marketing mistakes. However, examining your competitors can provide you with a thorough understanding of your customers. This could be your hidden weapon. There are mainly two types of competitors: Direct competitors. Indirect competitors. Ignoring your competitors is akin to ignoring your customers. Examine your competitors' marketing efforts, successes, and failures, and never replicate them in your business practices and allocate your marketing resources to find new customers. SpyFu, Facebook Ad Library, and Google Alert all allow you to view your competitors' marketing campaigns. To put it concisely, investigating what your competitors are doing or not doing, determining what they plan, what their next move will be, and analyzing their strategies may provide you with valuable insights to use for your benefit. This clears that ignoring reviewing your competitors can be one of the pre-eminent small business marketing mistakes. Running a business is full of mistakes, especially when it comes to marketing. However, knowing the errors and rectifying them timely is the key to success. In the above article, I have listed seven essential small business marketing mistakes to be avoided. FAQs: What are some marketing mistakes? Here few common marketing mistakes to avoid: Not having written marketing planning. No systematic marketing budget. Lack of strong online presence. Not knowing marketing metrics. No emphasis on valuing the current customers. Not targeting the right audience. Ignore reviewing your competitors. What problems are small businesses facing? Major problems faced by small businesses are: Money management. Maintaining online presence. Lack of proper marketing strategy and planning. Obtaining and keeping customers. Quality and growth must be balanced. How do you avoid marketing mistakes? Marketing mistakes can be avoided by proper planning in every aspect of the business. Do thorough marketing research, focus on your potential customer’s needs, track your performance, and more. These are a few ways you could avoid marketing mistakes by being a little cautious. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are some marketing mistakes?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Here few common marketing mistakes to avoid: Not having written marketing planning. No systematic marketing budget. Lack of strong online presence. Not knowing marketing metrics. No emphasis on valuing the current customers. Not targeting the right audience. Ignore reviewing your competitors." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What problems are small businesses facing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Major problems faced by small businesses are: Money management. Maintaining online presence. Lack of proper marketing strategy and planning. Obtaining and keeping customers. Quality and growth must be balanced." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How do you avoid marketing mistakes?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Marketing mistakes can be avoided by proper planning in every aspect of the business. Do thorough marketing research, focus on your potential customer’s needs, track your performance, and more. These are a few ways you could avoid marketing mistakes by being a little cautious." } }] }

Read More

Back to Normal? A Four-Step Guide to Decide Which Pandemic-Era Changes to Keep

Article | March 9, 2020

After 2020 saw countless small businesses pushed to the brink, the US economy seems on the verge of a lasting revival. The good news about vaccination progress and the continued lifting of restrictions from coast to coast is that small businesses are starting to feel more optimistic about their chances in 2021. But that's also leaving many of them at a crossroads. For some, a rapid shift to eCommerce and other non-contact sales methods was essential to stay afloat. Now that those measures aren't strictly necessary, the question is how to either unwind them or make them a permanent part of the business's strategy.

Read More

What are Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses?

Article | March 9, 2020

December 2019 was just the start of something sudden and drastic change a world was about to witness and changed the pattern and working of business completely. Covid 19 has been a major economic shock for both large businesses as well as small businesses. Marketing their business became difficult and was even more difficult and challenging for small business owners. The impact of COVID-19 was enormous on small businesses. Pandemic was a time to come up with new marketing strategies for small businesses. Here are few promising marketing strategies for small businesses during COVID-19. Effects of the pandemic on small business Small business was the hardest hit due to the onset of the pandemic and effects of the pandemic on small business has been severe. The unprecedented nature of COVID-19 brought up widespread closing of businesses, factories, and stores around the world. Temporary closure of businesses due to pandemic reflected income losses to business owners due to inactive months. As per a recent study, 34% of U.S. small businesses are still closed. COVID-19 continues to be challenging for small businesses forcing them to shut down their business permanently. As per the recent survey, about 22% of U.S. small businesses have closed in February. Effects of the pandemic on a small business stay the longest. Customers being reluctant to rush to stores for their purchases considering their safety has reduced the business for small business owners. As per the survey conducted by McKinsey, almost 47% of small business owners are concerned about their sustainability in the market, and about 57% of the owners are concerned about the lack of customers. What are the challenges faced by small business during the pandemic? COVID-19 magnified the pre-existing challenges of small businesses along with the addition of more challenges. The new challenges faced by small businesses during the pandemic are money management, work-life balance and fatigue, government regulations, client dependency, and going for an online platform. However, the Small Business Administration (SBA) of the federal government came forward to help businesses. The federal government enforced the Paycheck Protection Program Act (PPP), by the CARES Act, aided the small business loans with the fund. Switching to digital is a new need of an hour to ameliorate the involvement of new and existing customers and having social media presence. Sharing the best marketing strategies for small businesses to overcome the challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. Best Marketing Strategies for Small Business Get Website for Online Presence Do you need a website for small businesses? The answer is yes. Websites are like a business card to reach out to the customers; with the absence of a website, you will be missing out on the major chunk of the market. Simply by making your online presence you will create the most important asset for your small business. It is a channel where you will exhibit the information about your brand, who you are, where are you, what can you offer, and how potential customers can reach out to you. You can grab traffic information from your website through a search engine. The data and analytics provided such as how many people visited your website, time duration spent by people on your webpage, demographic details of your visitors, and many more enables the success of your website. Google My Business Listing Google My Business is an effective part of digital marketing strategies for small businesses. It is cost-effective for small businesses and gives your business visibility on Google and beneficial for targeting local customers. Google My Business provides you with a free set of tools increasing your reach with higher online visibility. Google My Business is affordable for both small and large businesses. With good reviews from the customers or if you rank in the top 3 of Google My Business listings you can pull many leads, and gain credibility and trust for your business. Email Marketing Email marketing strategy is an important and critical part of marketing strategies for small businesses and works best during the COVID-19 pandemic. Email is the highest converting channel that helps in nurturing leads. Email marketing for small businesses is cost-effective and involves showcasing new products, important business updates, special offers, prompting your recipients to click through your website. Other benefits that email marketing for small businesses offers are easy to automate, immediate communication, easy to track and optimize, and easy to set up and run. Content Marketing Content marketing during COVID-19 for small businesses has been at the center of business marketing strategy. Content marketing is creating and publishing high-quality content including, articles, emails, online courses, podcasts, and videos to reach out to the target audience. Content marketing is a must for small businesses because it is highly result-oriented. Content marketing helps small businesses to create trust and long-term relationships with customers and potential prospects and gives better exposure to your products or services. Blogging Blogging has proved to be one of the successful marketing strategies for small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Starting up a blog will help you generate organic traffic and increase awareness for your brand, in return will improve your website’s rankings on the search engines. Blogging is a part of content marketing offering information about relevant topics to customers, in your case, it will be about your business. Starting a blog is important for small businesses because it helps you think in new ways, it is great for marketing, it allows you to share your expertise, and it creates a 2-way conversation. Google AdWords More than 40,000 search inquiries are made on Google every second, so you can imagine the reach of audience your business can gain. Advertising on Google is of great worth for small businesses. Google AdWords is considered a more expensive and competitive form of marketing tactics; they are paid ads but are also one of the most powerful marketing strategies. In Google AdWords, Google assigns a quality score to your Ad depending on your Click Through Rate (CTR), relevance, and landing page your ad sends traffic to. Google AdWords gives you immediate results and ranges up as per your budget. Using Social Media Platform Using social media marketing is relevant and non-negotiable for small businesses because it helps to build wide awareness for their brand. Today’s world is social media savvy. Social media platforms have no more remained just a fun platform to socialize or connect with but have turned into a powerful tool for business reach by engaging with potential customers. Presence on social media can help small businesses to build up a rapport with customers, gain an opportunity to promote their products or services to larger audiences. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn are a few of the social media platforms that are highly active, hence proves to be one of the easy marketing strategies for small businesses. Use the Power of SEO Business slowed down in the pandemic and businesses are reluctant to commit. Once an impressive website is developed, search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the impactful marketing strategies for small businesses. SEO is a time taking strategy to show the results but in the long run, SEO marketing strategy surely brings you the desired success. SEO is to optimize your website and content for google search engines so that your business ranks higher on searches. Higher the rank on google search higher the chances of traffic drive to your website and higher the chance of your website being clicked. With the practice of the above-mentioned strategies for small businesses during COVID-19, you will bring a boost to your business. FAQs What are the marketing strategies in COVID-19? The world has heavily relied on technology as in the age of COVID-19. New marketing strategies have been brought fore-front to leverage the business growth and reach. Email marketing, content marketing, blogging, SEO, are marketing strategies to name which are emerging as powerful promotional tools. Is Email Marketing effective for small business? Email marketing has been the biggest benefit for small businesses during the pandemic due to its cost-effectiveness and use of time. Email marketing is the most impactful marketing channel during this time because it allows business owners to build relationships with new customers, past customers, and leads. How Content Marketing helps small business? Content marketing is a key strategy to introduce your business to a new audience and increase brand awareness, reach, and domain authority. Content marketing during COVID-19 for small business is becoming important for small businesses majorly for generating leads and sales. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are the marketing strategies in COVID-19?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "The world has heavily relied on technology as in the age of COVID-19. New marketing strategies have been brought fore-front to leverage the business growth and reach. Email marketing, content marketing, blogging, SEO, are marketing strategies to name which are emerging as powerful promotional tools." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Is Email Marketing effective for small business?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Email marketing has been the biggest benefit for small businesses during the pandemic due to its cost-effectiveness and use of time. Email marketing is the most impactful marketing channel during this time because it allows business owners to build relationships with new customers, past customers, and leads." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How Content Marketing helps small business?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Content marketing is a key strategy to introduce your business to a new audience and increase brand awareness, reach, and domain authority. Content marketing during COVID-19 for small business is becoming important for small businesses majorly for generating leads and sales." } }] }

Read More

Spotlight

Small Business Development & International Trade Center

The Small Business Development & International Trade Center (SBDITC) provides a unique set of resources to assist potential and existing businesses achieve success! Our staff and counselors are here to assist you in realizing your business goals in the global market.

Events