January is a really good time of year to take stock for any small business owner. We naturally in our down times think about what makes us happy and where we want to focus our energies as we move forward. This mindset is magnified when we add into the mix new years resolutions and that feeling that this year is going to be the best yet! As a small business owner, it is really important to continually evaluate what is and is not working and respond to this accordingly. In our latest blog we would like to share with you 7 reasons why your small business might be failing to attract new customers:
1.You do not have a Marketing Strategy in place:
We talk a lot about the need for a marketing strategy at Rimu Marketing, for us it is the start point for any new client. The reason for this is that defining your strategy helps you to be clear about what you wish to achieve in the year ahead and focus your marketing energies. There are so many marketing activities you could engage with – where do you start? This process will help you to work that out.
Once you have defined your marketing strategy you can then go onto define your marketing plan. This in effect is your ‘to do list’, identifying what marketing you will do and when across the year, depending upon budget you would include things like: advertising, social media, email marketing, etc. It is also important to consider your content plan and the creative which is going to support your campaigns.
2. You don’t know your target audience
Understanding your target audience underpins all marketing activity. Once you know who you are speaking to you can then amend and tailor your tone of voice creative, imagery and content that you share. Understanding your audience will also help you to develop a proposition which will play to their needs and provide them with a product or service which they want.
3. Do do not have a clear value proposition
Once you understand what it is you wish to achieve and who you are talking to, it is then key to define your marketing messaging. Understanding what sets you apart from the competition and why a customer should do business with you is a really important part of your overall marketing strategy.
A big mistake that some small businesses make is to write their value proposition in isolation, without any input from prospects or clients. Often the best way to understand what they want is to ask them. Don’t forget to make the benefits of your products and services clear from the beginning. A value proposition is not a tagline but instead considers what challenges your small business solves for your customers.
4. Ineffective use of call-to-actions
Understanding what action you want your customers to take as a result in engaging with you is key to define from the beginning of any marketing project. There is no point in putting an ad in a local publication without a clear understanding what you want someone to do as a result. I have had some examples when starting to work with a new client, they often show me examples of marketing that they have done for their business. One of their questions for me is why does this not work? Upon reflection, they have not included a clear call to action. If you are asking someone to purchase your product or service, make it as easy for them as possible to get in contact with you.
Your call to action should be across all marketing. It can vary by what you are doing, so you could have a “Book now” message in an email; read my latest blog to find out more about a particular topic or “sign up my newsletter” to receive more information. It is a pet hate of mine on websites, where it is so difficult to find an email or phone number – this can act as a deterrent and will in some instances turn potential business away. In summary make sure your call to action is clear and easy to find.
5. You are struggling to find your tone of voice
The tone of voice will vary with every business. If you are a solopreneur then often you become your business voice, but as you get bigger this is something that you may wish to define. The tone of voice will help your business to become instantly recognisable as your brand and when deployed in a consistent way will help to build trust and authority with your current and potential clients.
6. You don’t understand your businesses strengths and weaknesses
Understanding your business strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT Analysis) forms part of the marketing strategy project. It helps you to make smart and informed decisions on the direction of your small business. Whilst I am a complete advocate that everyone has their own business journey to travel, to understand what else is out there can provide useful insight to help you guide your business forward.
The SWOT analysis might identify for example particular industry trends which are happening, opportunities to introduce a new product or changes that your competitors are making which will directly impact on your business.
7. Lack of a clear brand
Branding is so important for a business of any size. Taking the time when you first start your business to think about this will serve you well in the long run. Defining what your brand stands for will help you stand out from your competitors and be readily recognisable to your customers, giving you a great platform to launch your product to market. The brand acts as your ambassador or advocate, attracting customers and reassuring them of your reputation
We have briefly covered some key elements which might not be working for your small business, that will result in your failing to attract new customers. If you would like some help to get 2020 off to a great start, then please get in touch for an initial no obligation consultation.