Marketing for small businesses is a challenge for a lot of reasons. It’s challenging because there are so many aspects to it that you need to manage. It’s challenging because the budgets of small businesses are typically not as big as larger companies. And it’s challenging because it’s tough to get your message out there.
If you’ve got a new product or service, the first place people will look is online, so you need to be on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and all those other places. If you’ve got an old product or service that people are used to, they may be less likely to pay attention if they see your new one popping up on social media.
But there are also some obstacles that aren’t really obstacles at all. For example, one of the biggest ones is getting past that “branding” stage where people know what your company is about and what they can expect from you. That’s why I’m going to talk about the six biggest obstacles in marketing for small businesses here.
1. Not Having a Marketing Strategy
Now, you might think that if you don’t have a marketing strategy, then your marketing is just going to be something that happens on its own. You might just start advertising your business, hoping that customers will find you because they want to do business with you.
But what I mean by “marketing strategy” is actually having a clear vision of what you want to accomplish. You need to know exactly what you want to do in the market, and why it’s important for you to be there. And it needs to fit into your overall goals and plans for the company.
Having a marketing strategy is important, because without one, you may just be doing things on a case-by-case basis. You may just be advertising your business on Facebook, hoping that some people will find you. Or you might just be posting some coupons on your website.
2. Not Having an Online Presence
Now I know that I said marketing strategy, but there’s a big difference between having a marketing strategy and having an online presence. An online presence is the way that people can find you, and it’s important to have one if you want to be successful in the market. It doesn’t matter how good your marketing strategy is if nobody knows about you or your business.
You need to have a website with an online store and everything else that goes along with it. And you need to be on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and all those other places where people are looking for your business.
The best way to do this is to have a professional web designer design your website for you. And it’s important to have your website designed right from the start, because once you’re on the market, people will want to find you there. And if they can’t find you there, they’ll go somewhere else. You also have to create great content for your social media accounts.
3. Not Having a Media Plan
Having a media plan is very important, because it tells you what to do when people are talking about your business. You need to know when to put up a post on social media, and when to post something on your website. You need to know what you’re going to say in your Facebook ads, and how often you’re going to be advertising your business.
A media plan is important because it tells you how much money you need to spend, and what kind of advertising strategies will work best for your business. You also need a media plan if you want people to find you on social media, so that they can see the posts that you’ve made there.
Also, having a media plan is important if you want people who come into your store or read about your business online, to know that they can get more information about what’s available there or buy something from you right away.
4. Not Having a Clear Message
If you don’t have a clear message, then it’s going to be hard for people to know what you’re about or what they can expect from you. It’s easy for people to get confused by all the choices in today’s market, so if they can’t find what they’re looking for on your website or on social media, then they’re not going to find you at all.
You need to make sure that whatever message you’re putting out there is clear and consistent with what you’ve been saying in the past.
For example, if your company makes custom-made mugs of all different kinds of animals, then you need to make sure that your social media and website reflect that. You need to make sure that your Facebook posts are animal related, and you need to make sure that the logo on your website is animal related.
Also, if you want people to know what you’re about, then you also need to make sure that your company name reflects it.
5. Not Making Your Brand Visible
If people can’t find your brand, then they won’t know what kind of business you are or how they can do business with you. It’s not enough for them to find out what kind of company you are or what kind of products or services you offer.
You also have to make sure that they can find out where they can get more information about your business and where they can do business with you right away. This is important because if people don’t know where they can get more information about your business, then it’s going to be very hard for them to do business with you in the future.
You also have to make sure that people who come into your store or read about your business online, know exactly what kinds of products and services are available there so that they don’t leave without buying something from you right away.
6. Not Knowing What People Want
This is the hardest one of all. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard small business owners say that they don’t know what people want. They think that they need to do something new, but what they really need to do is make something old better. You need to ask your customers what they want, and then you need to make sure that you’re giving it to them.
For example, if your company makes custom-made mugs of all different kinds of animals, then you need to know what kind of animals people are looking for so that you can give them exactly what they want. You also have to make sure that whatever products or services you offer are different from anything else in the market so that people will want them.
If people don’t want them, then they won’t buy them from you or tell others about your business online. You also have to know exactly how much money you need for each product or service so that you can charge enough for it without being too expensive.
The best way to do this is to talk to your customers and get their feedback on what they want.
Marketing for small businesses is a challenge, but it’s not impossible. The good news is that if you have a clear vision of what you want to accomplish, then you can do it. You just have to find the correct strategies and put them into action. So take a look at the six biggest obstacles in marketing for small businesses here, and then get started on your marketing strategy today.
About the Author
I am the Founder of Cudy Technologies (www.cudy.co), a full-stack EdTech startup helping teachers and students learn better. I am also a mentor and angel investor in other Startups of my other interests (Proptech, Fintech, HRtech, Ride-hailing, C2C marketplaces, and SaaS). You can also find me on Cudy for early-stage Startup Founder mentorship and advice.
You can connect with me on Linkedin (https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexanderlhk) and let me know that you are a reader of my Medium posts in your invitation message.