7 Costly Small Business Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Everybody makes mistakes and entrepreneurs are no exception. But for an entrepreneur with a limited budget, committing mistakes too often can be very costly. It is an open secret in the business world that most of the mistakes that can be committed in business have been committed; so why not just learn from them, saving you the agony of committing them yourself.

With that said, here are 7 costly small business marketing mistakes every entrepreneur must avoid:

1. An Incongruent Marketing Message

To effectively sell your product or service, your customer has to “get” the marketing message. A customer-centric marketing message educates your prospects and persuades them to become customers. Too many small businesses make the mistake of focusing their message on the product or company, instead of how the prospect would benefit by purchasing their product. Prepare the right marketing message with some of these in mind:

o Identify the prospect’s problem.

o Explain to the prospect why the problem should be solved immediately and explain why your product or service is the right solution to their problems.

o List the benefits your prospects would enjoy upon purchasing your product and provide an unconditional guarantee to allay any fears they may have.

2. “Spray-and-Pray” Marketing Instead Of Precision Marketing

The days of marketing as a zero-sum game are over. You must demand accountability from your marketing efforts, expecting tangible results in the form of a healthy ROI (return on investment). Differentiate your marketing messages and target them to meet the specific needs and wants of your prospects and customers.

Many small businesses are guilty of the dreaded “spray-and-pray” marketing ideology, which inevitably drains their resources to the point where it very often leads to their demise.

Do not commit this same mistake, but instead practice precision marketing, where every aspect of your marketing and advertising efforts are measured and tracked for maximum returns.

3. Failing To Realize Marketing Is About Value Creation

To create a sustainable small business, you have to market something of value to the prospect and customer. Marketing is your business and creating value for your customers should permeate through all your marketing efforts. Strive to always over-deliver because customers love to receive more than they expect and the easiest way to do so is to develop a thorough understanding of their wants and desires.

4. Selling Instead Of Educating

You must have heard about the age-old principle that “people love to buy but hate being sold to.” It is a principle that will continue to hold true for ages to come, but unfortunately, many small businesses still fail to adhere to it. The fastest way to get rid of a prospect is to try forcing a sale out of him or her.

Education-based marketing, however, is a powerful marketing strategy to overcome this problem of being sold to. This strategy makes use of giving away valuable information, educating your prospect about the benefits of owning your product or using your service, offered to them as free reports, video cassettes, CDs, or DVDs in exchange for their contact information.

It is a strategy that builds trust with the prospects resulting in a much higher closing ratio. So, forget about throwing a sales pitch and try educating your prospects instead for a higher conversion rate.

5. Failing To Test

The biggest mistake any entrepreneur can make with their business is the failure to test every possible variable most important to their customers. This applies to both online and offline marketing efforts.

I can understand if small businesses faced more difficulty with market testing because of limited budgets years ago, but the Internet has done away with this excuse. It has become so cheap to conduct price tests and sales copy tests and identify what campaigns, keywords, and metrics give you the best ROI online that not testing any of these has become a cardinal sin.

6. Not Following Up With Prospects Or Customers

Small businesses spend a great sum of money acquiring customers, which makes it all the more difficult to understand why many of them don’t follow up with their customers, or even their prospects after the “front end” sale.

It has been well documented that true riches are to be found in the backend sales and the reason for this is simple. If a customer or prospect raises his or her hand to do business with you, it means an element of trust has been established and a business relationship is ready to be formed. They are more then likely to buy from you repeatedly if you make it a point to capture their contact information and develop a follow-up system for communicating with them frequently.

7. Selling To The Wrong Target Market

Never assume that your product or service will appeal to a general audience because this assumption has profoundly resulted in many small businesses shutting up shop. Large businesses are guilty of this too, but you can save yourself from committing such a rash mistake by asking yourself these two questions:

o Who are your customers, or who is your target market?

o Who will use your service, or who will buy your product?

Answer these questions with absolutely clarity and segment these markets by demographics and psychographics to zero in on your ideal customer. The time spent doing this correctly will add nicely to your bottom line.

Just remember that to succeed, you must be prepared to fail, so don’t fear the eventual mistake but learn from it.

Tips For Opening a Small Business Checking Account

Business accounts are important for small businessmen, dealers or shop-owners. Banks usually offer a variety of accounts such as saving accounts, current accounts, fixed deposits; etc.According to the need and requirement, an individual can select an account for his use. For businessmen involved in businesses on a lesser scale, opening a small business checking account is indispensable. Ideally the businessman should open an account in the initial stages of business expansion. Before opening a small business checking account, there are several noteworthy features to consider such as daily transaction process which includes deposit and withdrawal as well as borrowing costs. Also banks have various offers to suit ones needs. Some of the tips to help you in opening the right account are as follows:

Analyze your business needs.An approximate measurement of your daily transactions such as deposit and withdrawal should be carried out. This helps a long way in laying down the right foundation for your business.

A small business checking account should be created if and only if you are starting a small company or a joint business involving partnership. Sole traders have the flexibility of operating with a single personal account.

Search and analyze the small business checking account schemes offered by different banks. Remember each and every bank has something different to offer than the other. Do not be compelled to open an account with a bank in which you have a existing personal account because your current bank may not offer great deals. So explore before finalizing!

Compare the costs and charges of each bank as negligence on this may create lots of hassles later. Also look out for hidden charges which your bank representative may avoid to inform you!

Opt for well-established banks which have a good track record.

The most important point to be kept in mind is bank charges. If the monthly or daily transactions are large, your bank may levy some extra charge. So be well informed about this! Some banks provide free charges for small period of time.

Your small business checking account becomes even more flexible if there are facilities for online payment and transactions. Online business banking has become popular and most banks provide this service. Transactions can be viewed from the comfort of your pc.

Lastly the bank which has a dedicated team to look after these business banking services.

Business Requirement: An Innovative Business Solution

Primarily, a business requirement is indeed necessary in any businesses. Such business requirements document or also known as the BRD is classified as a great innovative and alternative business solution for any business projects. These sets of projects may include many processes such as the documentation of customer needs and expectations, project management and implementation, and a lot more.

Creating your own business or software requirements may seem to be a critical activity. Thus, this must be performed and administered accordingly to achieve and obtain your business organizational objectives, goals while you all move forward towards an independent solution on a specific business procedural system.

Any business entity must take initiatives to modify and develop existing products or services that they offer. More so, they also have to be willing to introduce new devices, products, services, both software and hardware so as to expand their market and open new horizons as well as avenues for more profit and revenues. Hence, when such development is done, a new business requirement document must be created and introduced.

A particular business requirement document or BRD has many common objectives. Some of them are the following:

a. Gaining concrete contract, agreement or mutual understanding between and among stakeholders.

b. Creating a solid foundation to be able to communicate using innovations towards such a service provider, a program or a technological system.

c. Addressing the issues and other matters on how to meet and satisfy customers’ and business’ needs and demands.

d. Providing necessary inputs into the next phase for such relevant project.

e. Describing the possible ways on how the customer or business needs will be met by the innovating and finalizing business solutions.

Truly, the business requirement document or BRD is referred to by many business experts, entrepreneurs and business enthusiasts as the ultimate foundation for all subsequent project deliverables, relating what inputs and outputs are connected with each process function. Distinguishing between the business solution and the technical solution, the BRD shall be addressing or answering the questions on business capabilities, plans, programs, and involvements.

Creating or putting up a team or a pool of experts such as computer programmers may seem to be a good idea. This lessens the workloads and simplifies everything; thus, it tends to prioritize and observe quality, effectiveness and efficiency. Coming up with consistent, reliable and accurate inputs, processes and outputs, business requirement will surely work at its best – advantageous for you and your business.

Business requirement programmers, analysts and experts should always consider the technical and contextual aspects of the documents or specifications. Also considered as business models and paradigms, these BRDs include detailed descriptions, summaries and other information that you and your market need to know and familiarize. Diagrams, charts and other means of representations may also be useful to maximize resources and for easy understanding.

Tagged as a mere foundation and ultimate framework of the business’ development programs and new projects, business requirement may also involve and include some updates and changes in working activities and practices.

So what are you waiting for? Go and get your newly constructed, written and developed business requirement document today and see better results in your own business.

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