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  • Writer's pictureSu Guillory

10 Reasons Your Small Business Marketing Sucks

Updated: Jun 29, 2022

If you’re not getting the business you want, and you’re constantly discussing marketing to no avail, your small business marketing strategy sucks.


Here are some clues to look for:

1. You don’t have a marketing budget.

Budget? What’s that? If you think setting aside money for marketing is a waste of time, you’ll soon be looking for employment.

2. You don’t have a small business marketing plan.

Flying by the seat of your pants is not an option when you’re an entrepreneur. Being flexible is, however. You need to have a marketing plan that lays out what activities you will engage in each year, quarter, and month, and how much will be allocated (see point 1).

3. You only use one or two channels of advertising.

Unless you’ve hit a gold mine with billboard advertising or direct mail (and statistics say you haven’t), you must diversify your advertising dollars. With interactive marketing on the rise, you don’t even have to spend a ton of money (see my article on Web 2.0 marketing) to get results. Measure where you’re getting the best return on your investment and focus there, but experiment in new areas. You never know where your next niche may be.

4. You’re the owner AND the marketer (and the accountant and the manager).

In order to let your business run itself, you need a professional expert to handle the marketing. People who are in the field know tips and tricks you will never learn wearing so many hats.

5. Your company isn’t unique.

This in and of itself isn’t a problem. It’s all in how you market yourself. But if you can’t find an interesting spin for your accounting software product, no one will be enticed to buy it. You have to brand yourself and familiarize people with your brand in order to sell.

6. You’re not online.

Any business anywhere can take advantage of the online marketing tools available today. Blogs, podcasts, networking and Google AdWords are great ways to reach a wider audience, and to keep your customers connected to you.

7. You don’t do your homework.

If you don’t know what’s going on in the marketing world, you will quickly fall behind. You have to stay on top of trends and techniques to effectively use them for your company.

8. Your staff isn’t well trained.

If your sales and marketing staff doesn’t know your product inside and out, how can you expect them to sell and market it? It’s important to help your staff understand your product so that they know it by heart and can better promote it.

9. You don’t network.

If you think “networking isn’t for me”, you’re essentially saying “new business isn’t for me.”  Networking is the best way to help people know what you do without giving them a sales presentation. Relationships will grow into sales.

10. You’re too modest.

If you’re reluctant to toot your own horn, you’re missing out on valuable PR opportunities. If you’ve written a book or done something noteworthy (see my interview on local news station), or if your company is involved in a noble cause, let the media know. The coverage can be great exposure for your business.

If these signs are familiar, change your marketing strategy and chart your course toward sales!


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