Guest Article: 5 ways small businesses waste money on marketing
From Bert Logan
Small businesses waste an enormous amount of money on marketing. People have to make mistakes to learn and more often than not, small business owners are not qualified in the same way as most larger corporation owners. We are here to help, these are our five ways small businesses waste money on marketing.
Using targeted advertising can be an excellent way to make money. However, this method is best used once you are a more established business with a good following on social media and a constant stream of content passing through your site. If you do not have these two things, the algorithms can be detrimental and not target many people at all when you send out the adverts.
It is also key that you do not shoot yourself in the foot when using targeted ads and over target them. If you select too many options you can end up limiting your customer base, so the adverts only go out to a select few people. Make sure you double-check the search area. One major mistake that small businesses make is selecting only their local area to target with a limited age range and one gender. With these three things together, the reach will be so small that you might as well have not advertised at all.
Giving up too early
Many small businesses expect to get everything given to them straight away, make 100 sales in their first week and have customers clamouring to buy from them. In reality, this is almost always not the case. A business and a customer base take time to build. Owners of small businesses need to be aware of this and not get complacent as they might lose not just a bit of money but the whole potential of their business.
Paying for expensive branding
Why should you pay for branding that you can get for free? There are so many great design apps, tools and options out there. Nowadays, a small business does not have to spend any money on branding other than to get assets printed out. Do all your designs yourself. You don´t have to be Caravaggio either, most of the free-to-use tools are designed to be simple to use for everyone. Online logo creators can be an excellent way of getting started. Using these you can design and create as many different logos as you want for free. You can get customers involved in choosing and designing your logo and you can always revise the design later.
Not knowing how to track
Small businesses usually – always, do not bother tracking their progression right away. This is a big mistake and can cause you to lose a lot of money. There are many apps you can use to track your business. You should track sales, marketing and advertising. Look at what is doing well in your business and what is not. Track your customers and see who is buying your products and interacting with you on social media. Keep eye on your emails, estimates and invoices. You want to be omniscient and see into every little corner of your business, track its progression and make sure it is working for you.
Not knowing when to change
Many small businesses do not see the bumps in the road before they hit them. This is something you learn over time and through trial and error. However, if you track your business, you will start to see things more clearly. Do some research on other businessestoo, or if you have friends who have been running one for longer than you, take them for a few coffees and have a chat about the mistakes they made along the way. See whether you can help each other out with things and always remember that if you organically collaborate, you will find you get much further in life.
Remember that you are the superhero to your own destiny, make life easy on yourself, and plan ahead before you dive in. You will find that you can save thousands in the long run.
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This article was published in the Freelancing.HK-News 70.