1. Money
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

How to Avoid Complacency in Your Small Business Marketing


Despite the unflattering comparison, businesses bare more than a little resemblance to sharks in their need for constant motion. If your small business does not continue to reach out to new customers, continue to spread its influence throughout the market, and continue to improve on its internal processes, then it becomes unhealthy and begins deteriorating from that moment on. Over time, your revenues will fall as your customers drop your business in preference for your competitors who have continued to move with the tide.

Complacency causes stagnation, once a business becomes stagnant in reach prospects and new customers it's only a matter of time before you can no longer afford to pay the fixed costs and your business at last collapses under its own weakness.

Complacency might be tempting, but it is also inevitably lethal to any business in the long run. Complacency in your marketing efforts means that you are no longer reaching out to customers and no longer keeping a finger on the pulse of your market. In effect, you will have stopped growing and stopped paying attention to the ever present threats looming over all businesses.

How to Avoid Complacency in Your Small Business Marketing

The first thing that you need to remember if you are to avoid complacency is that marketing is like swimming against the tide. You are constantly battling against the apathy of the customers and the difficulty of getting your products to the point of sale while your competitors are either elbowing or actively pulling on your leg to hold you back. You do not need to remain in a state of paranoia, but you do need to take a proactive stance in continually improving on your marketing.

1. Set up monitoring systems to measure the success of your marketing efforts and record it for future usage. You want records so that you can track changes over time and match them to specific marketing efforts. Use these records to identify the most glaring weaknesses in your marketing and get to work on correcting them. When it comes to online marketing utilize an analytics program like Google Analytics.

2. Provide recognition and material incentive for those employees who notice issues in your internal processes and stand up to point them out. You want to reward such initiative because it helps you identify issues before they can develop into full-blown problems.

3. Find solutions for the problem that has been identified. Don't hesitate to consult whatever resources you might need to fix the problem. Both your employees and your management are valuable voices about what is happening on the ground, but it is your responsibility to listen to all of their opinions and then distill a solution from their information. Similarly, your customers and even your rivals in the same market can also be valuable sources of ideas and solutions.

4. Implement your solution to the problem. Continue using your monitoring systems to watch the impact of your solution on the problem and the rest of your business's performance, making adjustments as needed. If you make a mistake, use those same monitoring systems to find and correct it.

5. Once you've finished solving your old problem, return to the beginning of the cycle and use it to find another one. Solve that too and repeat. Over time, this ensures that you'll continue to work on improving the bottleneck that is holding up your entire process, giving you steadily bettering results without needing to launch more thorough and large-scale campaigns. Remember that you can always be doing better and use that as motivation to keep on improving.

Stay fresh with your marketing by continuously brainstorming new and improved marketing ideas to reach new customers. We all want a stable foundation with repeat business, but without new customers your business will suffer in the long run. Always stay aware of the needs your customers have and what your competition is doing, turning a blind eye is detrimental to the growth of any business, but a small business will feel it much sooner than a large corporation.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.