Why Your Small Business Marketing Is Failing


It’s not about marketing your small business. It’s about marketing your story. -Tweet This.

Read On.

You have a business you love and you want to tell the world about it so they love it too. Seems simple enough, right? Well, small business marketing isn’t as simple as it seems because it is more than just telling the world about your business, it’s about telling your story along with your business story. It’s about developing relationships not just making connections. It’s about creating valuable content not just spreading a message.

Marketing is something everyone thinks they cand do and it can be overwhelming, especially if marketing isn’t your area of expertise. I get the need to tighten the purse strings. I get that you have no budget and you are a one-man or -woman show. It is doable and you can do it! You just need to be armed with the right kind of information and expectations.

Unrealistic Expectations

When it comes to marketing your small business there is no substitute for time and time is what most small business owners lack. You have invested every penny you have and you need your business to take off. Sooner rather than later. Sure there are overnight successes but you can’t go into business hoping to be one. Marketing takes time. Developing a loyal customer base, generating word of mouth buzz and creating a community are vital to the sustainability of a small business and all take time. Understand that marketing through social media, blogging and any other medium can be effective when you are consistent and add value over – you guessed it – time.

Flying By the Seat of Your Pants

I am a firm believer of the just do something mentality. That doesn’t mean that doing just anything will get you where you need to go. It is important to use your time and energy wisely and market with purpose. That means creating a strategy. There are some basics that you need to know before you get out there:

  • Who is your customer?
  • What are they doing?
  • Where do they hang out?
  • Why do they need you?
  • How do they spend their money?

When you answer some basics about who your customer is, it makes creating a strategy for your small business marketing plan much easier. Moving forward with a plan helps to measure and maximize your marketing efforts.

Putting Your Eggs in One Basket

I know this will come as a shock but I believe blogging is the most important thing you can do for your small business marketing plan. That doesn’t mean you should rely on that alone, you still need to get out there and promote you and your business in multiple ways and in various mediums. This means getting active on the social networks where your customers are, becoming involved in community events and networking with other businesses both in person and online.

Unwillingness to Change Course

It is a fact that when I began using social media to market my businesses many moons ago, I didn’t really have a strategy. Some of things I tried worked and some didn’t but one thing remained constant – my willingness to try new things. I truly believe that is what made me successful. Even the best marketing plans need constant evaluation and the ability to change course when tactics are not working. The biggest mistake most small business owners make is relying too heavily on the status quo. Stay vigiliant, measure success against relevant goals and alter your course when necessary.

Most people start a business because they have an idea that excites them. They are good at a few aspects of running a business but not necessarily all of them. If marketing isn’t your thing, it is time to make it your thing. Get out there and sell yourself and your business.  Make sure your expectations are realistic so you don’t get frustrated before things start to get going. Give yourself time to fully engage and utilize your resources to market your business and your story.

Photo via CanStockPhoto

The post Why Your Small Business Marketing Is Failing appeared first on Project Bullhorn.

Kimberly Yuhl
Hi there! I'm Kim, the creator of Secrets of Better Business and Take 35. I help small business owners (the mom and pop kind) work smarter and dream bigger. I provide practical tips to help you manage your day and define success on your own terms. It really doesn't matter if you are small business owner, freelancer, stay-at-home mom or work a traditional 9 to 5, there is something here for everyone. Want to know more? You can always find me at my home away from home, kimyuhl.com. I look forward to saying hi.
Kimberly Yuhl

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5 Comments on "Why Your Small Business Marketing Is Failing"

1 year 4 months ago

Don't add latest marketing idea, social media and digital media in business marketing strategy is also one of the reason to falling of small business.

1 year 5 months ago

Hi Dryle.
With small business owners it isn't always about giving it your best. Most small business owners spend their day putting out fires because they wear all the hats. Marketing is usually the least critical element of their day and as such is on the bottom of the list. This doesn't mean they aren't giving it their best, it just means they have nothing left to give because their best has already been given.

Thoughts on that? Thank you very much for taking the time to post.
My recent post Small Business Blog Evaluation: Fluff It! Marshmallows

Dryle Tatum
1 year 5 months ago

It depends on your business marketing plan. And a plan only fails if you did not give your best in making it successful.

1 year 5 months ago

Melody, I love your story! And yes it is much more compelling. I also find the more human the stories the better. I get the most interaction with a story when it includs me making a mistake or doing something stupid because everyone can relate. And at the end of the day that is what we are trying to do, relate.

Thanks for taking the time post a comment. I really appreciate it and look forward to see you again soon.

My recent post Small Business Blog Evaluation: Fluff It! Marshmallows

Melody Campbell
1 year 5 months ago

Kim, You make a really good point! When small business owners market their story the message becomes more engaging. There's always some emotion to a good story – and emotion moves people to action…not facts.

So if I tell my prospects I started http://www.NorthwestSchoolofBusiness.com because statistically 80%+ small businesses fail in the first 5 years because they don't create systems that generate revenue I "might" get a few listening ears. But, If I tell you that I started http://www.NorthwestSchoolofBusiness.com because as a business owner of a promotional products company I struggled to survive the first five years in business. If I share some of the emotional experiences of how I wondered if I should just close the doors of my business because I couldn't predict how much money I would make from month to month and that I struggled so long my business wasn't fun any more….until I learned how to create a system for attracting leads, and converting more of those leads to customers who purchased more, and more often. Once I learned how to build these systems, my revenue doubled year over year until I built a million dollar business.

Now that's a compelling story, right? Much better than hearing that I started the school because so many business fail in the first five years.

I really love the concept of marketing by telling compelling stories!
My recent post Marketing to Your Target Audience with a Twist