How NOT to Sabotage Your Small Business Marketing Success

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.

Small Business Marketing Tips

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.

How the Internet Is Actively Empowering Home Based Business Entrepreneurs!

Recently, I’ve been doing some research on small home based business ventures. From all indication this sector has continued to grow despite the global economic down turn. In fact the statistics indicates that there has been a steady increase between 2007 and 2009.  For example, statistics shows that more and more Americans prefer being self-employed with over 12% households in the US having a home based business. Besides, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the number of home-based businesses in the U.S. is well above 18.3 million businesses while the success rate for home based businesses is put at 70% for at least a 3 year period as compared to 29% outside the home business venture.

Now, I personally believe one of the reasons for this increase is because more and more home based business entrepreneurs are today using the internet as a marketing tool. Whether we admit it or not, one thing is certain, technologies like the internet have revolutionized just about everything we do around the world both at our personal and professional levels. And it’s this revolution which online home based business entrepreneurs are cashing in right now that is pushing the figures up the scale!

Indeed the internet has opened a whole lot of opportunities for home based businesses. In this article I want to highlight some of the ways the internet has influenced the home business entrepreneur positively.

1. Potential for a Global Market

This can be regarded as one of the greatest gains of home based businesses as regards the internet. Before the internet, home based businesses were limited being able to only reach out to customers from their immediate communities. But today the internet has made it possible for home business entrepreneurs to have customers far away from home. In fact, an online home based business today has the potential of reaching the global market without any extra costs. Having a home based business in today’s internet-driven economy means being released from that limiting factor of market reach.

2. Less Time to Get Your Business off The Ground

Before the internet, starting and growing a successful business took time and much hard work. Many of the big companies today had to put in the extra hour in order to get their businesses off the ground. However, the internet now helps people to shorten that time. With the proper information coupled with the right mindset starting and growing a home based business on the net is now a click away!

3. Making Money At Home Made Much Easier

The internet has actually eroded much of the barriers of running a home business so much that the lure of making money from home has increased. Now home-based businesses aren’t what they used to be because of the internet. With the advantage offered by the internet it means the lucky entrepreneur can actually stay at home while making their money online. And from all indication it’s because making money with the internet technology is much easier that more and more people are opening up online businesses today.

4. Easy Access to Information

Every entrepreneur understands the importance of having the right information in running a successful business. Before the internet a whole lot of testing and research work were undertaken by entrepreneurs. Sometimes this took years. But with the internet, you can have all the information you need at your fingertips. Pieces of information that can affect the business venture like marketing trends; demographics etc can now be easily gathered. Of course the market is a very erratic factor in business, with people changing their preferences all the time. But with the internet the home based entrepreneur can really be prepared for any of these possible events using the right tools.

5. A Better Understanding of Your Competition

Another way that the easy access of information has helped the home based entrepreneurs is that they are now able to take a closer look at the competition. Questions like, what sets those businesses apart? What is the competition’s weakness? How can I get ahead in the market? etc. can now be answered by a simple search online or by the use of specialized software.

6. Quicker and Easier Access to Help

One thing that is clear in building a successful business is that you need the help of others. It doesn’t matter if you’re running a one-man home based business. In fact, it makes it more pertinent! And the internet has become a really great asset in this area as it allows you access to people even while working from the comfort of your home! This means you can reach important contacts and make business decisions faster. With online social media home business entrepreneurs are finding it much easier to network and build fruitful business relationships that have impacted positively on their businesses. Also access to expert advice has become much easier, cheaper and quicker.

7. Easier Access to Business Opportunities

One outstanding trait of successful entrepreneurs is that they are always on the lookout for any chances of expanding their businesses. They understand that the earlier you learn of an opportunity, the better your chance of getting it. And the internet has become an indispensable tool in this area for entrepreneurs.
Conclusion: From the foregoing, it will not be out of place to say that with the internet home based business entrepreneurs have an edge. From saving time on making business-related decisions to multi-tasking, the internet has become a very valuable technology for the home business entrepreneur. But most of all having the world as your potential market is indeed an opportunity to make more money from your home based business.

What do you think: Maybe I’m wrong but I passionately believe that the internet is contributing greatly to the increase of home based businesses. Do you agree with these views? Share with us in the comments below.