23 Marketing Reasons Why Small Businesses Fail
I was walking past a convenience store the other day and noticed a sign in the window. The sign read ‘No Change’. It seems they were inundated with people who required change for the subway or for parking and they felt it was better to keep all these potential customers out of their store than to equip themselves with a supply a change. They were making a clear statement they did not wish to have my business. What they could have considered was a large sign that read ‘Change Available’. Chances are prospects may have come in only for change initially but could have been converted to regular customers with the correct attitude of the staff.
It’s up to you to create a successful business or one that plods along or worse fails. Business can be tough enough without making it more difficult on yourself. Steps to bettering your chances of success!
Usually lists are made up of financial reasons for the failure of a small business. There are many sales & marketing reasons why a small business can fail.
Fortunately there is a positive step to be taken for each one that will help reduce failure and increase chances for success:
- Failure to face up to your weaknesses and a lack of effort to take advantage of your strengths can keep a business at a no growth mode.
- Follow-through, implementation is the key. Plan all you want but be prepared to act on all the steps you have identified and then some you hadn’t planned on.
- Understand the difference between accountability and responsibility. Make sure your staff and suppliers recognize that by accepting responsibility it is their job to get the assignment completed.
- A genuine commitment to the customer and the success of the business will get your through difficult times. It will also pave the way for much success.
- No planning. Struggling along from 1 idea to another not thinking your complete marketing story through will typically end in failure.
- Lack of buy-in by employees. When your staff does not support a marketing program you are usually destined for failure. Get them involved early in the planning process and incorporate their ideas.
- There is nothing more irritating than when you walk into a business and the person behind the counter is on the telephone having a personal conversation. Immediately you are made to feel like you are interrupting them. Customers should be welcomed into your business and greeted with your full attention.
- Failure to recognize trends, changes, marketing mistakes etc. Recognizing a trend away from your particular product or service offering is a terrific opportunity to present something new to a customer. New ideas refresh your staff as well.
- If you suffer from the ‘not invented here’ syndrome, get it fixed right away. Great ideas can come from anywhere and anyone. Limiting yourself to only ideas created at your company is viewing life through a very narrow opening.
- You may know your business better than anyone but thinking that all your ideas are right just because they were ‘invented here’ is equally dangerous.
- No control over sales staff. Your sales reps have little direction or support and are off selling to whoever they choose to. Chances are they are missing large new opportunities and spending all their time with existing customers.
- You have not created proper sales and marketing tools for your staff.
- The sales tools you do have are unimpressive, out of date, poorly conceived and are damaging sales opportunities.
- Marketing has been forced to live with a low or nonexistent budget.
- Spend too much on marketing and do not get value for your investment. Spending dollars against marketing does not always guarantee sales. You may need to rethink the media and promotional offers that currently makeup your marketing program.
- Failure to promote your website in outside traditional media. A key lesson learned recently by the big participants in the internet is the need to go outside the internet to traditional media. The key to success on the net after producing a well thought out web site is to let people know where your site is located.
- Not answering telephone properly or having an uninformed person answering for you is damaging. It is frustrating for the customer or prospect when they can’t get an answer to their questions.
- Losing orders or not completing them on time is an easily resolved problem. Create a step by step fulfillment process with checking systems to make sure that an order is controlled from beginning to end.
- Some business owners believe the product or service they offer should be as irresistible to others as it is to them. Therefore customers should just come to them with promotion. Not promoting yourself will only serve to keep your business a secret.
- It is just as important to get others to promote you. If others have a clear understanding of your company and who your target group is they can promote you.
- Negative word of mouth can have a negative impact on your sales that goes beyond one or two unhappy customers. Solve the problem and win them back. They will be your best salesman.
- Use resources available: self-help offices, consultants, internet and library. Talk to customers and suppliers, study competitors.
- Don’t just try to be as good as the competition. Be better, offer something different, and be more helpful.