n this article we discuss the number 1 reason that business fail at marketing, and the knock on impact on business failure. This ends with a fantastic ACTIONS list so you don’t fall into this nasty failure trap; as well as a FREE guide covering our definitive list of the 14 Reasons Your Marketing is Not Getting Results, and what to do about it!
There’s some really scary statistics out there on business failure rates. The one I picked out most recently was this….
8 out of 10 businesses fail in the first 18 months.
When you look under the surface, the leading reasons for this are: Lack of Funding, Cash Flow Issues, Poor Execution of Business.
And not carrying out successful Marketing is up there in the top reasons.
Actually, when you look under the skin of the first two reasons, they can ultimately come down to a lack of customers – something that Marketing solves.
Marketing is a broad word, and can conjure up all sorts of thoughts and feelings, and some of the popular ones we hear?
“It’s the fluffy creative stuff”….“It means hard sales on the telephone”…. “It’s brochures and flyers.”
The real definition of Marketing for Small Businesses, for me, is getting customers by letting them know you exist. Otherwise, you’re the best kept secret…. Until you fail.
Let me put this bluntly…
Marketing Is ABSOLUTELY essential for ANY business, no matter your size and your time in business – from pre-launch to decades old.
Marketing ensures you can complete in your market, continually get customers, keep customers and be in a position of sustainable growth. And that’s what all of us small businesses want right?
Sadly, many a small business tries Marketing and fails.
Nope, that doesn’t mean Marketing doesn’t work. It means they’re not doing it right!
So let’s explore the very FIRST reason that businesses fail at Marketing…..
Failing to make Marketing a key pillar of the business.
I’m afraid to say, dabbling in Marketing won’t cut it. You need momentum and consistency.
We work with 100’s of Small Businesses and this is a shift in attitude and belief that has to be made very early on when we’re working with them.
To bring this issue to life, at All Star Marketing Club we recently carried out a survey to small businesses, and the results were VERY telling. The questionnaire was all about how small businesses feel about Marketing for their business growth
So what did our research tell us about Small Businesses and Marketing?
First and foremost: Over 90% said that they needed marketing to succeed in business. And more than that, they needed to have a thorough understanding of Marketing for their business to succeed.
So the word on the small business street is that Marketing is important for success.
Secondly, over 80% of respondents say they DO NOT have enough customers.
And as I have said, Marketing is there to create customers. Because we are simply telling them you exist. But here’s the difficult bit….
a) Over 80% report that they DON’T HAVE THE TIME FOR MARKETING.
b) And a higher percentage still, DO NOT HAVE ANY MONEY TO INVEST IN MARKETING.
c) Around half of the respondents said that their business IS NOT YET READY TO INVEST IN MARKETING.
So here lies a BIG problem for Small Business when it comes to Marketing.
So let’s tackle the time issue.
EVERY business MUST create time for Marketing. And there are no excuses. For those businesses we work with, we insist on them carving out half a day each month to work solidly on their Marketing; and on top of that, at least an hour a day.
We must ask ourselves the questions “What am I doing today to generate more business”? It keeps the mind focused.
Marketing Budget is a tricky subject.
However, Marketing on a shoe string is ABSOLUTELY possible.
In an ideal world, a business should dedicate three things to Marketing: Money, Time & Resource.
But we can get by without the money part as a Small Business. It CAN work if we small business owners understand how to spend our time and resource to get the best results.
And when we don’t have a budget, we need to focus efforts on some foundation level Marketing, such as:
- A strong database of prospects that we can talk to about our product of service.
- A lead generating website, that compels our prospective customers to get in touch,
- A fantastic social media presence that moves people from cold to customer.
- Fabulous content that we can use to feed that entire eco-system. Content build trust and relationships, so when a customer is ready to buy, they buy from you.
This is just a few examples, and this is a great place to start. It’s making sure that the strong foundations exist. It will make an enormous difference for very little Marketing budget.
For those that say they are not yet ready to invest in Marketing….
I would absolutely challenge that. A business is always READY for Marketing.
The points above apply here; and it’s very important to remember that Marketing isn’t just about the customer communications. It’s about knowing your market and competitors, setting the right pricing, thinking about new avenues to explore to sell your products. It’s about knowing the customer too. So even if you are not actively communicating with customers, there is a lot of ground work to do to make sure your ‘market ready’ product or service will hit the ground running.
So if you are reading this and want to follow expert advice… Here are those all important actions to take.
1. Carve out time for Marketing and stick to it.
What can you give up daily in favour of doing your Marketing? An hour of TV time? An hour of sleep? And don’t forget to block our half a day a month too. This needs to be sacred. If you stick to it, and start taking Marketing action, you are going to see an enormous difference in your business and you’re marketing will be so much more successful than if you are just dabbling. Trust me on this one.
2. Ask yourself this question everyday…
‘What am I doing to create more customers and more business”.
If the answer is NOTHING…. then you have a problem. But if you are setting the time aside, then this question will help you with you Marketing ‘to do’ list.
3. Have you got some of the key foundations in place that we spoke about above?
A database, a lead generating website, great content and the like? If not, this is where you need to start with your Marketing time. If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at our Marketing Academy Online. It’s a fantastic way to develop your Marketing skill very cheaply.
4. Have you done your groundwork?
Do you know what your customers need? What your competitors are doing? How much your customers are willing to pay? Where they will buy? If you’re stuck, contact us about Kick-Start Your Marketing. It’s a short course that will get this nailed.