No matter how big or small, all businesses experience ups and downs. When business is slow and you want answers, the first stop is usually to the marketing person. After all, isn’t it their job to grow your business? Of course, but what if the problem isn’t your marketing?
Marketing is the easiest thing to blame when business is slow. Unfortunately, more times than not, poor marketing should NOT be to blame for a slump in sales. If you’re noticing your sales are declining, here are 5 things you should look in to before you point the finger at your marketing person!
5 Things to Do When Business is Slow
- Examine your customer service – Customers will stick with businesses that provide great customer service. It’s that simple. So, if your business is slow, take a look at how you’re handling customer service and make sure things aren’t falling through the cracks. Are your employees rude? Are they responsive to customers? Are you following up with people in a timely manner? What’s it like when someone visits your business? There are so many aspects that fall in to the customer service experience, so dig in and make sure everything is working as it should.
- Look at your products or services – This can be tough. Most business owners started their company because they were passionate about providing a service or creating a product. With that said, it can be especially hard for a small business owner to admit that while YOU love what you’re doing, others may not. If you can’t be objective, hire someone who can.
- Product or Service Lifecycle – Everything has a lifecycle. If you’ve been doing the same thing, the same way for 5, 10, 15 years, it may be time to look at your product or service and decide if it’s still relevant in today’s economy.
- Take a look in the mirror – Yep, I said it. Are you burnt out? Have you lost your passion for small business ownership? Owning a small business is A LOT of work. Some owners may always love the product or service they started their business around, but over time, they may find they are tired of all the other stuff that comes along with a small business and it reflects in what the customer receives.
- Look at What’s Working or What Worked in the Past – When business is slow it’s easy to focus on what you want to change to improve it. However, change may not be what you need. You may just need to get back to your roots. Think back to a time when you were busy. What worked? What didn’t? Identify what initially got your business off the ground and generated repeat customers for you. Then, take a look at what you’re doing now and see what changed. This should help you decide if you’ve deviated too far from the things that originally made you successful.
When you’ve done ALL this…then you can look at your marketing! Make sure:
- Materials are clear, up to date and professionally designed.
- You have a professional web presence that is optimized for SEO.
- Social media is being used…regularly!
- You’re emailing customers using a formal email provider like Constant Contact, MailChimp or something like one of these.
- You have a plan. If you’re just doing a little bit of this and a little bit of that here and there, your marketing efforts probably won’t stick. You need a plan and you need to stay consistent with your efforts.
If you need help taking a look at what’s working and what could use improvement, I’m offering a marketing audit for $149, now through December 31, 2017. A marketing audit will help you evaluate your marketing efforts and plan for improvements in the upcoming year.
Small Talk’s Marketing Audit includes a review of your business’s:
- Social Media Accounts
- Print Materials
- Email Marketing Campaigns
- Product Packaging (If Applicable)
When I’m done you’ll receive and executive summary that provides recommended updates and suggested marketing tactics for the upcoming year.
To get started, contact me now!