Five Deadly Small Business Marketing Mistakes

Here are some marketing mistakes that take a heavy toll on small businesses. They have been very harmful to businesses at any stage, but especially harmful for new businesses.

1. Not having a marketing plan.

Studies show that having a marketing plan equates to a 24 to 30% improvement in sales over those without a marketing plan. Writing a comprehensive marketing plan takes time, thought, and rethought, they help a business owner to focus on new products and services. A marketing plan will help someone to determine if the product or service will take too much time, energy, or resources to make it a proper addition to the existing array of products and services.

2. Executing "Hit or Miss" marketing techniques.

Many entrepreneurs and small business owners buy advertising without exploring whether or not the venue is appropriate for them, or if it will appear in a place or manner that potential customers will respond to - or even see. Marketing dollars spent correctly will bring you sales. Marketing dollars spent incorrectly will not only cost you money, but will cost you your business-esteem. All marketing needs to have a "fit" with an overall initiative. They must convey a consistent message. Using advertising for name recognition is felt to be a good move by inexperienced business people. Experience dictates that success is best when even your "name recognition advertising" relates to a common theme.

3. Negative networking.

Networking is one of the most important parts of marketing for the small business person. Many entrepreneurs look to groups such as Chamber of Commerces, Business Network International, and Local Business Network to build business through networking. They attend networking functions and seem to feel that the more business cards they give out, the more business they will get. They are generally disappointed and reject networking as a false prophet. Positive networking takes a different approach. Networking events are an opportunity to find synergies upon which relationships can be built. Successful networking is not how many business cards you give out, it is how many quality business cards you gather. Opportunities such as Catapult allow individuals a networking opportunity to find those synergies while learning business skills.

4. Not seeking appropriate support.

Most entrepreneurs are people that have decided to leave corporate America in search of a better lifestyle with less stress. They find a great product or service and think they have it made. Unfortunately they do not have the focus and motivation they need to survive. In the corporate world they had a boss to continually set deadlines and goals, and to hold them accountable for hitting the deadlines and goals. They also had a boss to mentor and coach them. In the small business and entrepreneurial world, this important need is overlooked. People need accountability partners and/or mentors to keep them on track.

5. Inability to distinguish between being talented and being business savvy.

Too many small business owners and entrepreneurs feel that having talent is sufficient to attain success. They feel that if they are good at what they do, word of mouth advertising will supply a constant stream of customers. Talent may help you find excellent investments, glean out the best mortgage rate, repair the most difficult automotive challenge, or any of numerous other potential examples. However without business savvy in the form of a marketing system, the endless stream of customers will never materialize. You must wrap a marketing program around it to encourage or solicit additional referrals.

To be a success in your business, it is essential to focus on preventing these marketing mistakes. Be sure to make a plan and get the support to validate the plan and help you bring it to fruition.

Rick Weaver is President of Max Impact, a national leadership and organization development company based in Rochester Hills, Michigan. Rick is an accomplished business executive with experience in retail, market analysis, supply chain and project management, team building, and process improvement. He has worked with hundreds of companies to improve sales, processes, and bottom-line results. MaxImpact offers leadership and organizational development services along with employee assessments and background checks. Contact Rick at 248-802-6138 or via email, MaxImpact is on the web at

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