By Robert Cordray

Marketing is important to the success of any business. Regrettably, many small businesses do not understand its magnitude, and forgo it since they perceive it to be expensive and time consuming. Bearing in mind all forms of marketing, small businesses have many way to market themselves. Marketing is important for small businesses, and when it’s foregone, it can lead to failure of a business. Nonetheless, when done appropriately, and given the importance it deserves, it helps businesses realize growth. Elearning solutions lists some of the most common marketing mistakes that if avoided will save you time, money, and lots of energy. Indeed, there are ways to market small businesses by avoiding the following common mistakes in marketing:

  1. Not having a marketing plan. When you start your business it is understandably so that you are eager to see a return on your investment. For your business to get known, it is crucial to come up with a comprehensive marketing plan. Some business however, make the mistake of rushing to hire a salesperson to market their business without a plan in place for the service or product to be sold. Without it all this efforts are just an exercise in futility. Lack of a good plan can only get you running in circles and eventually one gets worn out. Having a marketing plan means; a target audience, specific details that aim at increasing visibility, and a quantifiable formula that guarantee a return on investment. With that place it becomes easy to expand your customer base.
  1. Not having a marketing budget. Not having a marketing plan means not having a marketing budget. This is a common mistake that people do mostly because they fail to understand the power of marketing. To avoid the demise of your business along with your investment, it is crucial to have a well-conceived marketing budget from the beginning. A good method to use when creating a budget is simply setting aside at least 10% of your income.
  1. Ignoring the competition. When we create our businesses we try to be different and unique so as to stand out from the rest. However, it is vital to keep an eye on your biggest competition to see what they are doing right. This can be done through searching them on Google, social media, and their websites. This research helps you to create new marketable opportunities for your business. With this information it also becomes easy to begin your small business with the right resources, knowing what to avoid and what to focus on.
  1. Not targeting specific audience. Another common mistake done by many business owners is trying to be everything and targeting everyone. To succeed in marketing it is crucial to identify your target market. Have the right marketing techniques for a small business helps to create a market base. Avoid competing with established business who already have vendors in place, you can’t be everything to everyone.
  1. Not clearly defining your service or product benefit. Indeed there exist a large number of potential customers in today’s competitive market that are not sure of what product or service to purchase. To get them interested in your product or service there is need to put out a message that helps potential customers identify what makes you different from the rest. With that done, your sales are bound to increase.
  1. Not understanding your existing customers. The mistake many businesses often do is to assume sales can only be increased solely by new customers. This unfortunately results in poor customer service to the existing customers. If the current customers are served well, they provide a solid stream of income that keeps the business running. Failure to appreciate existing customers means they move to other businesses where they feel wanted.

By avoiding these marketing mistakes, small businesses can stand out and become leaders within their industry.

Robert Cordray is a former business consultant and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience and a wide variety of knowledge in multiple areas of the industry. Follow him at @RobertCordray.