As a small business owner, the mountain of work you need to accomplish in a single day can be staggering. So it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day battles and lose sight of marketing your business. But the fact of the matter is, robust marketing builds your business like few other activities.
Of course, great customer service and a dynamic product (or service) is important to your success, but marketing has a great influence and brings your customers to your place of business. While you may know that marketing is very important, it’s easy to avoid or ignore if it’s not within your comfort zone. Here are three quick questions to answer to ensure that your marketing machine is tuned up and ready to move ahead.
1. Does your marketing strategy have a goal?
Wherever your are doing your marketing (direct mail, email newsletters, or social media), you need to know what your end goal is. Ideally your goals should be measurable such as “increase sales volume by 5%” or “have 1000 more subscribers,” as well as have a defined a period in which to achieve them. It is okay to try a marketing venture as an experiment or to test a theory, but the majority of your campaigns need to have a conclusion and a defined purpose to ensure that your ROI (return on investment) generates profit.
2. Are your marketing channels up to date?
We live in an increasingly connected world. Your printed marketing materials and marketing presence on Internet venues should intersect in meaningful ways, but are they all current? Your website, in particular, needs to have the latest information, as do your social media profiles. There are few things less confidence-building than checking out a website and seeing a copyright notice that expired in the last decade, leaving you wondering if the business even exists anymore. Make it a priority to keep your various marketing channels as up-to-date as possible.
3. How are you promoting your business?
You must have a ready answer to the question. If there is any hesitance in responding or silence, that is a warning sign that you have let one your most important responsibilities as a small business owner break down. Remember: there are many ways to promote your business, but it is important to have a few different channels. Try different things and if they don’t work, try something else. The important thing is to hone your skills in all these areas and keep pushing ahead.
If you can confidently offer strong positive answers to each of these questions, you are doing a great job of developing your business…and you probably file your taxes early too! If you were not able to answer each of these questions in the affirmative, you probably have a thriving venture that takes quite a bit of your attention away from these marketing fundamentals. In order to take your business to greater achievement, you need to divert attention to these basic, but very important marketing essentials.
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Andrew Patricio is the founder and CEO of BizLaunch, a company that trains, advises and mentors entrepreneurs. Andrew has written two books on small business, started seven businesses, and has helped thousands of entrepreneurs in Canada get their businesses up and running. Andrew is not a Pitney Bowes employee and was a paid contributor.