Don't Make These 5 Small Business Mistakes in 2019

A brand new year is the perfect time for a fresh start in terms of how you run your small business and marketing programs and how you connect with customers. If you're looking for ways to increase your reach and boost your results, a good place to start is to consider common marketing mistakes it will pay to avoid in 2019.

Here's a quick guide to pitfalls and ways to make the new year a success.

Mistake #1: Not investing in digital

A strong digital strategy is essential for small business success, and it all starts with your website. Yet, just 64 percent of small businesses have a website, according to Score, a national business mentorship initiative. But even if you have an online presence, there's likely more you can do to make your digital efforts effective.

In 2019:

  • Register a domain that's unique and easy to remember. With eye-catching domains like .pro, .llc, or .bz, there's no reason to have a long domain name that people won't remember.

  • On your (new) website, put your products and services front and center and make it really easy for customers to understand why they should go with your business.

  • Make sure it's easy to find your contact information. If people can't quickly find what they need, they're likely to just give up and look elsewhere.

  • Optimize your content for search engines by using the keywords your potential customers use when searching for the type of products or services you sell.

  • Make sure your website is responsive for a great mobile experience.

Mistake #2: Not creating compelling content 

Content marketing has been getting significant buzz for a few years now. Whether you're launching a blog, getting active on social media or writing in-depth case studies and white papers, there are many ways to create content your audiences will love. Research from The Content Marketing Institute found that regularly published content improves both conversions and leads. 

In 2019:

  • Create a plan for building content, such as launching a blog and posting weekly, or developing one white paper per quarter to help attract new customers.

  • Be realistic — if your content plans are more than you can handle, it's harder to stick to a consistent schedule of producing content.

Mistake #3: Not testing and tracking results

As the Small Business Administration notes, one major mistake companies make is not analyzing their marketing. According to Blue Corona, less than 30 percent of small businesses use website analytics, call tracking or coupon codes.

In 2019:

  • Implement a data-tracking program such as Google Analytics to better understand what's happening on your website.

  • Set goals, measure progress and use that information to improve your performance.

Mistake #4: Not managing a marketing budget

Brands that are strategic with their marketing budgets get better results. Yet it's easy to let cash flow and marketing opportunities dictate how you spend.

In 2019:

  • Look at your projected revenue and decide what you can reinvest into the business to help drive growth.

  • Set clear goals for your marketing spending, so you'll be better positioned to capture the maximum ROI for your investment.

  • Look at your spending in terms of who you're reaching, the cost vs. return for different marketing channels, and how much revenue you expect to generate per dollar invested.

Mistake #5: Not running promotions

Customers are always hungry for discounts, promotions and ways to save money. If you're not currently offering deals, you may be missing out on their business. Marketers have a variety of options to consider.

In 2019:

  • Get people to sign up for your newsletter by offering subscriber discounts.

  • Post coupons on your website to encourage people to visit.

  • Leverage deal sites to offer discounts to first-time customers.

Make 2019 your biggest year yet

Every investment you make now will provide the foundation for success throughout the year, whether your objectives are better data-tracking, shoring up your digital presence or getting your finances in order.

Avoiding the five common small business mistakes discussed above will help ensure you're not leaving money on the table.

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Tuesday, January 8, 2019