Wondering if a business person would in any way really sabotage his/her own success? Of course that sounds impossible but the truth is, many are. While many small business owners think they are effectively marketing their business, the fact is they are cutting their own throat!
It doesn’t matter if as a small business entrepreneur you’re running ads that are pulling in leads/customers. You may even be a business blogger writing regular and impressive blog posts and you’re perceived as an expert in your field. Yet if you’re failing in the following areas, you definitely may be sabotaging your own success because successful marketing goes beyond these things.
The following are a few ways small business owners unknowingly sabotage their own success.
1. No Marketing Plan
There is a popular saying that those who fail to plan have already planned to fail. That indeed is the truth. If as a business person you have no marketing plan, no matter what you’re doing right now you’ve set in motion forces that will sabotage your marketing success. Of course you can market without a plan but a plan will help your focus your marketing efforts so that you can make the most of your marketing budget. So if you don’t have a marketing plan right now make sure you create one.
2. No Written Goals
Just think about it for a moment, those marketing activities you’re engaged in right now do you have a specific objective you want to achieve with them? Are your goals written down? This is another area where many business entrepreneurs sabotage their marketing efforts. As a business person you need a clear vision and a target to aim for with every of your marketing activities. That’s the way of smart business owners. They have written goals and objectives for what they want to achieve with their business and for each of their marketing activities. What more, proofs abound of people who put their goals into writing having a higher success rate than those who do not. A written marketing goal will help you determine how much of marketing you need thereby making things a lot more easier for you.
3. Short-Term Mental Attitude
Another way you can sabotage your marketing success as a business person is in your approach to what you’re doing. Are you consistent with your marketing efforts? Do you pull the plug too soon? Are you the reactive type who, though it may appear, is doing a lot of marketing on the surface is not doing anything consistently or long enough to make any impact?
You must understand that consistency is one virtue you must learn as a business person. Running an ad or sending out your newsletter a few times and then giving up because you received no immediate results is worse than doing nothing at all.
You should know that marketing statistics indicates it takes somewhere between three and 10 exposures to a message for the average consumer to notice it and take action. It therefore means that having a short-term attitude towards your marketing is actually detrimental as it’s quite possible your audience may only be warming up to your messages about the time you threw in the towel!
4. No Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Maybe placing this at the bottom of this list may give you the impression that you can really overlook this but that is indeed fallacy. In fact, this is probably the biggest culprit why many business owners sabotage their marketing efforts without even realizing it.
Why do you expect someone to buy your product or service instead of all the other products or services available to them? Have you figured this out?
You should be able to figure out what is unique and better about your product or service, and then found a compelling way to communicate this in your marketing message. Business experts all agree that no matter how great a marketing plan may be it will be of no use if you have not clearly defined your USP. Therefore marketing without a clear Unique Selling Proposition (USP) will only be wasting your time and your money.
How to Banish Marketing Sabotage and Succeed With Your Business Promotions
1. Develop a marketing plan – Of course this is obvious from the foregoing. As a business person your number priority should be to develop a marketing plan every year.
2. Write objectives – Write at least one objective that states what results you would like to achieve with your business over the next year. And, write at least one objective for every marketing activity you undertake, that states what results you would like to achieve from that activity over the next year.
3. Stay the course – Check in on your progress toward your objectives every three to six months, but give your plan a good nine to 12 months to work.
4. Determine your unique selling proposition and make sure it is represented clearly and in a compelling way in everything you do.
5. Don't try to be “everything to everyone.” Focus on a few specific benefits and a specific audience.
6. Track all of your marketing activities so you know exactly what is working and what is not working.
7. Don't rely on one marketing activity. Employ a mix of several marketing activities to reach more people more times.
8. Create a system to help you stay on track with your marketing activities every month and to help you plan ahead for future activities.
9. Create a realistic budget based on a percentage of your projected revenue, or the dollars you have available for marketing and stick to it. Marketing is an investment in your business. You have to spend enough to make progress but not more than your business can financially support.
10. Understand your environment – The economy, competition, the strength of your particular industry, your prospects' situation. You have to understand them all so you can create an effective plan to either overcome obstacles or take advantage of opportunities.
Take away: A marketing plan built on a clear unique selling proposition with the right objectives is necessary if you don’t want to sabotage your marketing success. A well thought out plan based on the guidelines above will ensure that your business stand a much greater chance of succeeding. All of these activities are part of a good marketing plan. And no business that wants to succeed should be without one.
Over to you: Do you agree that business entrepreneurs need a well figured out marketing plan to succeed marketing their business online? Let’s have your take on this in your comments.