Potential downfalls for new businesses are everywhere. You simply don’t have to look hard or far to find one foe after another for a new startup.
In fact, business pits are so common that any hopeful entrepreneur can get downright discouraged. If I’ve just described your current position in the startup phase, take heart. Today I’m exposing one of the biggest potential blows to small business and how to overcome it.
Far too many businesses understand far too little about marketing and consumers. Marketing is an intricate art of balancing advertising and targeting appropriate audiences. Without this understanding of successful marketing, many entrepreneurs make the fatal mistake of ignoring untapped consumer groups. The truth is, your business, any business, will not succeed without buyers, and buyers will not appear without skilled marketing.
Campaigns to promote a product, brand, or service come in all shapes and sizes. It’s not difficult to build online or print advertisements that will appeal to the correct consumers. With proper research and talent, or the use of a hired firm, advertising a product and branding your business can be easily achieved.
The tough part, the part where entrepreneurs fall short, is getting that campaign/advertisement to the customers. Many business owners push out their brand and accept the thought “The people who see it and want it, and then buy it, are my customer base.” They begin marketing to this base, and all of their energy and their entire advertising budget is spent on consumers who are easily reached. They advertise solely to consumers who’ve already jumped on board.
What a mistake for business owners!
Cherish that original customer base but don’t settle on it! The first customers, the first followers of your brand, are wonderful and exciting, but they won’t make your dream into a successful business. When entrepreneurs stop there, they commit a mistake that seizes their business plan and traps it at an impasse. Success follows an entrepreneur that seeks out additional consumers that their product will appeal too. Searching out new people groups and niche or trend customers is the next step.
Easier said than done, right?
As with any goal, it takes a little work, a little energy, and yes, financial investment in your company. But the ways to get the ball rolling are actually pretty practical and not out of reach. Mold your business plan with the following methods and get a little closer to your business dream.
Perhaps the most popular way to learn about consumers is by surveying current customers. If you choose this option, keep it simple. Ask only a few questions and make sure those questions truly mater. Quiz your customers on the ways they use the products or services and their favorite aspects of all that you sell or provide.
If surveying customers doesn’t appeal to you, then get the same results through a different channel. Take the time and perhaps ask employees or peers to help you brainstorm the additional uses or appeals your product or service might have. Uncover ways that your business brand can spread. A growing product line, whether by quality or quantity, offers more potential than what you start with.
With this info, branch out your advertising to include customer reviews, referrals, and, the most underrated of all advertising techniques, begin to promote additional uses for your product or service. Brand new audiences have made a product go from a basement office to a corporate complex in no time at all, often because of customers who were sought in non-traditional ways. Promoting your product with different perspectives will capitalize on all the potential customers that so many businesses leave completely untapped.
Shirley is a web based entrepreneur and a dedicated freelance writer with an interest in business, literature, history, family and parenting. Based in the Savannah, Georgia countryside she enjoys a rural writing setting on the edge of the charming Southern city. You can connect with Shirley through her small business, a shop of handmade décor, here: A Bow For Mama. You can also tweet with Shirley about freelance writing and more via her personal handle: @ShirleyRobin_FW . Shirley writes most often about independent business, handmade products, and occasional Do-It-Yourself bursts at The Indie A-List Blog where she is a regular contributor.