When it comes to business, sometimes, the most important tips are the simplest ones.
For instance, if you want marketing success you simply need to focus on what works instead of chasing after shiny objects or magic bullets.
However, that’s often easier said than done.
As a digital marketing agency, we’re problem solvers. It’s our job to identify the cracks in our client’s efforts and build a marketing strategy to help them reach their goals.
But a lot of times, the issues don’t lie in their marketing efforts at all. It is deeply rooted in their leadership and culture as a business.
And, I don’t want that to be you.
Overcoming Common Business Obstacles
If you’re struggling to gain traction with your efforts, you might find that there are some crippling behaviors getting in the way of your business success.
Here are some of the most common business obstacles I see, along with some remedies on how to overcome them.
You know the saying, “ready, aim, fire”? For perfectionists, it looks like this — “ready, aim, aim, aim, aim, aim, aim.”
Businesses riddled with perfectionists have trouble pulling the trigger. They are so worried about making a mistake that they spend inordinate amounts of time perfecting the work instead of actually shipping it.
Remedy: If you have several half-baked projects that you’ve never completed, pick one, set a deadline and finish it. Ship it no matter what. You can always perfect it later. If it helps, find a colleague, mentor or consultant to hold you accountable to get it done.
2. Lack of focus.
Plenty of businesses lack the focus they need to be successful. They are plagued with shiny object syndrome and spread themselves too thing trying to implement too many marketing initiatives at once.
As a result, everything falls flat.
Remedy: I often recommend that businesses focus their marketing efforts by picking one thing to start with and then get to work. Once you have that initiative mastered, you can begin to add other marketing efforts into the mix.
3. No dedicated resources.
I often encounter companies that want to increase their revenue or customer base, but they are unwilling to dedicate the resources to make it happen. There’s no budget, no staff and no time allocated to do the work.
If you want your business to change, you can’t keep doing the same thing and expect different results.
Remedy: If you need to drive more customers, you must invest the time and money to make that happen. Although the temptation might be to pull back on marketing when things are tough, this is actually when you should be investing the most. Allocate a budget and the necessary resources for your marketing efforts to
4. Lack of measurement.
Part of the reason many businesses don’t know what’s working for them is they don’t take the time to measure their marketing efforts. And, as a result, they lack the insight into where to spend their time and money.
Remedy: Determine the metrics that matter most to your business — sales and revenue, new and returning customers, number of leads, conversion rate, etc. — and find the way to track this information. In today’s world, we have access to so much more data than ever. Get everything set up and then use the data accordingly.
5. No plan.
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that I preach at length about starting with marketing strategy before tactics. Simply implementing marketing tactics at random is not a wise way to go about business.
Remedy. Before implementing your next marketing effort, take the time to understand your target customers, their needs and how you can best promote yourself to them. And, if you’re not sure how to do this, hire a marketing consultant or agency to help you.
6. Focusing the competition.
It’s important to understand what the competition is doing so you can differentiate your business. However, constantly studying their every move can be incredibly damaging to your business.
Trying to keep up with the Joneses will only mean that you are constantly chasing after your competition. Not to mention, the efforts that worked for them may not work well for you.
Remedy: Challenge yourself to avoid checking out your competitor’s websites and social media channels for 30 days. Block those sites if you have to. That way, as you’re working on marketing initiatives, you’re not tempted to see what your competitors are doing. Focus on sharing your message to your unique audience and you’ll be far better off than copying what everyone else is doing.
That’s right, I said it. Some businesses are flat-out lazy.
They are looking for magic bullets and the easy way to success. They give up on an effort because it’s too hard, takes too much time or requires too many resources.
Remedy: Business success takes hard work. And, it often means doing the things that other companies aren’t willing to do. Build a detailed plan and encourage your entire team to stick to it for 90 days. You’ll be amazed at what can happen if you methodically work to execute a plan.
What about you? Do you struggle with any of these? Or, is there another obstacle standing in your way?