Contrary to popular belief, spending a lot of money on Marketing is not the way to make your small (or whatever-size) business successful. If deep pockets were the answer, big companies’ product launches would never fail.
If your small business is hurting, the size of your Marketing budget is rarely the issue. Usually, the weak link is in your Marketing strategy, or in the execution of your ideas.
These 5 strategic questions will help you reconsider your assumptions, “diagnose” your business and correct your course, if necessary.
1. Are you focused on a specific customer group?
Many small business owners feel that it is risky to go after only one customer segment. They argue that, if they do that, they will be leaving money on the table. They are wrong! If you have a narrow, well-defined target group, you will attract more loyal customers, you will serve them better and, ultimately, you will be more successful.
2. Are you solving a customer problem?
This question should be easy to answer. If it’s not, perhaps this is the source of your troubles. To be desired by customers, your products or services need to be making their lives better in some way. Look at what you offer through the eyes of your customers and make sure you are adding value to their lives.
3. Are you different from your competitors?
Solving customers’ problems is not enough to make your business successful. Your products or services need to be different from what is already available in the marketplace. Always ask yourself what will motivate customers to choose you over your competitors. Provide value that is unique to you.
4. Are you staying on top of trends?
To stay relevant with your customers, you should always keep an eye out for new things that are happening in your industry and in adjacent industries. What are your customers talking about? What are your competitors doing? Do the rules of the “game” seem to be changing or are they staying the same? The answers to these questions will help you innovate and stay on top of your game.
5. Are you executing with excellence?
Even if you have great ideas and a killer Marketing strategy, you will get nowhere if your execution is average. Make sure that all your Marketing efforts – new products, promotions, social media efforts and events – are in line with your Marketing strategy.
If this little analysis revealed that you have to rethink some of your assumptions, you are on your way to building a stronger, more successful business.