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How to Turn Around a Struggling Small Business with Marketing

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|Aug 18|magazine8 min read

Although Australia recovered gracefully from the global recession (and some will say the country wasn’t really affected by it at all), there are several factors that are looking to potentially bring down the economy. The mining boom has been slowing down for the past few years, the energy sector is waiting with baited breath about the RET review and consumer confidence is flat.

Small businesses make up a lot of Australia’s market, and could hit rough patches in the coming days as well. Don’t let your innovation and passion for your business wane. If you find yourself with lower sales or cash-flow problems, look to your marketing plan for part of your solution.

Revise Your Marketing Plan

Is your company accomplishing the goals that you penned when you were dreaming up the company?  If not, it’s time for an update. See if you can trace your current struggles back to a problem in your business or marketing plan. It’s possible that your company isn’t sticking as close to its culture as you’d like to think. Maybe you gave up on your social media plan to focus on your books during tax season, and your Twitter and Instagram accounts are lacking any interaction. Or perhaps you didn’t increase your marketing budget in line with the growth of your company. If you can find the chink in the metal, it will be easier to figure out how to repair it.

Evaluate Your Marketing Budget

This may be a step you take when you revised your marketing plan. Some small businesses, especially the smallest ones, probably don’t have much in terms of a marketing budget. That doesn’t mean your business shouldn’t be marketing – the exact opposite.

Fliers and ads in the Sunday paper don’t cut it anymore. Any size business can have a social media marketing plan. A few updates and checks a day so you can keep your clients in the loop to your business’s news and offer another facet to customer support, and you’ll start to build (or continue where you left off) a loyal following.

If you do have room in your budget for a marketing professional, consider options like content marketing. This offers your clients a look into your company’s expertise through an article, and a way for you to advertise without being intrusive. There are several types of marketing well suited for the small business structure.

Reach Out

If you still haven’t been able to find a reason for your declining sales or lacklustre customer interest, consider asking for help from the outside. Often it’s hard to see the problems or issues that are right in front of our face because we stare at the every day.

Outside input can come in many different forms. If your business doesn’t have a lot of extra cash, consider reaching out to your top customers on Facebook or another social media platform. See if there have been any negative changes in their experience. They may even be able to recommend ideas for new services or experiences. If you are part of an association, invite members to comment on your business. An accountant will be able to provide you with financial trends to figure out when your funds began to taper off.

Although these three suggestions won’t fix everything, they are a good place to start, and a few of them come at no extra cost to your business. A couple new marketing strategies or an outside opinion can potentially add the spark back into your small business.