Common Blunders to Avoid When Promoting a Small Business
No matter how large – or small – your target market is, promoting a fledgling small business can be quite the undertaking. When a new enterprise fails to garner immediate interest, many business owners adopt a “throw everything at the wall” approach, which may seem like a good idea in the moment but ultimately stands to make things worse. While there’s no “one size fits all” solution for generating interest in a new business, there are a number of mistakes you should avoid making along the way. First-time entrepreneurs working to get small businesses off the ground would do well to steer clear of the following blunders.
Being an Infrequent Presence on Social Media
These days, social media plays a pivotal role in the promotional efforts of virtually every enterprise. As such, if your business has yet to fully embrace social media – or even maintain a presence on popular social platforms – there’s no time like the present to get on top of this. In addition to creating accounts for your enterprise on the web’s hottest social platforms, you’ll need to post new content on said platforms each and every day. Furthermore, this content should be designed to inform, engage and attract the interest of prospective patrons.
In addition to creating share-worthy content, you’ll need to interact with your followers on a consistent basis. This means responding to any constructive questions or comments in a timely and polite manner and regularly encouraging follower feedback. The more your followers feel that their input matters, the more likely they are to share your posts and provide you with financial support.
If no one on your staff is well-versed in social media promotion, it may be worth your while to work with a seasoned web marketing company and/or add a dedicated social media manager to your ranks. Being able to leave your enterprise’s social media endeavors in the hands of experienced pros can provide tremendous peace of mind and give you the bandwidth to focus on other areas of small business ownership.
Misusing Promotional Resources
Due to lack of forethought, many fledgling enterprises burn through their promotional budgets early on. The way some businesses owners figure it, more promotional avenues mean more awareness. While this line of thinking is certainly understandable, it’s also not applicable to every enterprise. For example, if your business primarily caters to a younger audience that’s well-versed in tech, purchasing ad space in publications and buying spots on TV and radio stations is unlikely to generate the desired interest. Similarly, if your enterprise serves an older demographic, promoting it through mediums used by a much younger audience stands to waste both time and resources.
Before kicking off a new promotional campaign, it pays to sit down with your time to exactly determine who you’re trying to reach and the best ways to connect with them. If your team currently lacks any dedicated marketing experts, working with third party marketers can help familiarize you with effective promotional strategies and set the stage for future success in this area.
Not Taking the Time to Network
As any seasoned entrepreneur can attest, networking is crucial to the success of any small business. As such, it’s astounding that some business owners put no effort into engaging other business leaders and making their presence known in their respective communities. To nip this in bud, make a point of regularly attending networking events for local business leaders and being a presence at job fairs. You can increase your odds of making a lasting impression by designing custom bags, pens, t-shirts, stationery and other practical items that bear your business’s name and/or logo and distributing them at the aforementioned events.
Many small businesses close their doors within their first year of operation, and considering how challenging it can be to effectively promote a new enterprise, there’s little wonder as to why. Unfortunately, there’s no magic wand solution to small business marketing woes. Promotional avenues and techniques that work well for certain enterprises are completely ineffectual for others. To help ensure that you’re able to make the most of your marketing budget and maximize your promotional efforts, make a point of avoiding the mistakes discussed above.