Everyone is familiar with the saying “We are only human; everyone makes mistakes.” That’s often true. In business, however, mistakes need to be minimized. Of course, this doesn’t mean that mistakes will never happen. If and when it does happen, dust yourself off the ground, fix the error, and create processes to prevent them from happening again.
One of the most important objectives achieved by creating a plan is to take precautions. As per the old saying: “prevention is the best cure”. By understanding some of the most common mistakes small business owners make, you can begin creating a plan that will help you run your business smoothly.
MARKETING MISTAKE #1: MAKING IT ALL ABOUT YOU
Most companies are focused on the improvement and the development of their own company. This is great, however, remember why you began your business in the first place. Your company is here to serve others.
Within this category are the following tendencies:
Placing the emphasis on your company, not your customer
Selling features, not customer benefits
Starting your marketing with a focus on your credentials, products, and services instead of on client problems
Not finding out your customer’s needs
Wasting time on pushing information about yourself out to prospects instead of pulling them in with ideas they are interested in
Quick fix: Review all of your content, and if it’s not providing a solution, change it. An example is to go from “We are the best accounting business in town” to “We can reduce your taxes by 20%.” Both are talking about what you do, however, the last one is focused on solutions and benefits to your client.
MARKETING MISTAKE #2: STICKING TO THE PRESENT
Many business owners find themselves dealing with present issues. With the many things to deal with, there is no time at all to do other things. But remember that good marketing is looking back at the things that were done and also looking forward to the next steps. You’ll be surprised that once this has become a habit, marketing becomes much easier.
Common mistakes for this category are:
Not testing headlines, price points, packages, pitches to determine what’s selling and what isn’t
Not identifying KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and measure them consistently
Establishing your mission, vision, and brand.
Quick fix: If you don’t have a strategic marketing plan, make sure you put that on top of your to-do list. A plan will help keep you stay on track. If you have one, be sure to review it monthly, as well as make quarterly updates if necessary. Be sure to include KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) in your plan, and how you plan to measure these goals.
MARKETING MISTAKE #3: THINKING BIG
Sometimes thinking big in business can be overwhelming. Businessmen realize that the tasks are too large for them to handle. Common mistakes that bring this confusion about are:
Tackling many types of prospects on a limited budget
Focusing on getting as many customers as possible and leaving older customers behind
Getting involved in too many projects that take your time away from your bottom line.
Quick fix: Make the necessary efforts to service your clients and projects. Prioritize their needs. At the same time, continue your marketing efforts with a scalable plan in mind. This may mean hiring a part-time/full-time employee, contractor, or friend/family member if the budget does not allow.
MARKETING MISTAKE #4: ESTABLISHING A TIGHT BUDGET
Budgeting is good, however, a company’s budget could sometimes be strangling. That sometimes becomes a major hindrance in the strategic marketing plan.
Here are some mistakes of this kind:
Underspending in marketing, which is insufficient for meeting the annual sales objective
Limiting the budget for everything—advertising, PR, etc. This ends up in a tiny outcome
Quick fix: Hire a financial expert who can help you sort out a financial plan. You need money to market effectively. You can start with a small amount, but you need to make some investments which will help you grow the business further.
MARKETING MISTAKE #5: EXCLUDING EVENTS IN YOUR STRATEGY
The previous mistake is tied with this one. Most companies with tight budgets tend to get rid of all event opportunities. Whether it’s networking, seminars, conferences, attending and participating in various events is necessary so prospects to make a personal connection with you and your brand. It will take a certain amount of brand awareness before people will do business with you. To reduce cost, be strategic about which events you attend or participate in. Understand that your ROI may double when used in combination with other marketing initiatives, such as email, social media, and public relations.
Here are some mistakes of this kind:
Not participating and connecting with community events.
Missing sponsorship and speaking opportunities.
Quick fix: Start with local events. Designate a budget. Create an objective and plan for each event you attend. Keep track of your return. Find ways to maximize every opportunity. If you need help formulating a plan, reach out and let us know how we can help.
Project Z is an event marketing and branding strategy agency based in Houston, TX. Our mission is to maximize our clients’ event marketing dollars and provide all the resources available to help them execute effective event campaigns. Our strategic solutions elevate brand awareness and deliver results that provide memorable interactive experiences. For more information about our services, to list your event, or for event invites please email firstname.lastname@example.org