10 Common Marketing Mistakes Small Business Owners Make

Marketing your small business can be a daunting task. There are so many things to consider, and it can be easy to make mistakes. So read on if you want to learn more about marketing your small business like a seasoned pro! This article reveals some of the most common marketing mistakes small business owners make and how to fix them.

Mistake #1: Not Having a Marketing Plan

One of small business owners’ most common marketing mistakes is not having a marketing plan. Without a written plan, it can be challenging to know what direction you should be heading.

A marketing plan does not have to be complex. A simple marketing plan will give you clarity, focus, and direction for your marketing activities. At a minimum, your plan should include your business goals and a description of the service you want to promote. You also want to describe your target client and what motivates them to initially seek out your assistance. List your unique benefits to the client over your competition and how you can address any objections your ideal client may have. Next, choose the best strategies and marketing channels, then set a time frame and budget. You want to include how you will measure your success and determine ways to ensure they continue to be loyal clients. Finally, revisit your marketing plan regularly to make changes as needed.

Mistake #2: Focusing on Tactics Over Strategies

Another common marketing mistake small business owners make is focusing on tactics over strategies. Tactics are the specific actions you take to achieve your goals, while strategies are the plans or methods you use to implement your tactics. It is crucial to have a solid strategy before implementing any tactics. This will help ensure that your efforts are productive and effective.

Mistake #3: Not Diversifying Your Marketing Efforts

Small business owners often make the mistake of not diversifying their marketing efforts. It is easy to stick with what is familiar and comfortable, but if you only focus on one marketing strategy, you are leaving yourself open to failure. It is essential to mix up your marketing approach to understand better what works best, keep things interesting for your ideal clients, and ultimately reach a larger audience. Try using a variety of tactics such as online marketing, offline marketing, and PR.

Mistake #4: Not Measuring Your Marketing Efforts

As a small business owner, you are very busy, and it can be hard to find time to analyze your marketing efforts. There are various ways to measure your marketing efforts, such as website traffic, growth of your email list, leads generated, and ROI. Make sure you track these metrics regularly and adjust your marketing plan accordingly. But, if you don’t measure your progress, you won’t know if your efforts are successful or not.

Mistake #5: Not Targeting the Right Audience

A huge mistake common to small business owners is not targeting the right audience. As Seth Godin says, “Everyone is not your customer.”

Your marketing efforts will be futile when you fail to target the right people. Understanding your target market and creating marketing materials that appeal to them is essential. Client interviews, website analytics, competitor research, and demographic data paint a clear picture of your ideal client audience. Once clear, you know precisely for whom you need to craft all marketing messages and where to deliver them.

Mistake #6: Not Using Enough Marketing Channels

How many marketing channels are you using? When relying upon only two or three, you limit your reach. It is essential to use a variety of marketing channels to reach a larger audience. This will help you maximize your results. Categories of marketing channels include internet marketing, email marketing, social media, public relations, and advertising, and there are dozens of subsets of each. This means you can always find additional areas to expand your reach. 

Mistake #7: Not Being Consistent with Your Marketing Message

Being inconsistent with your marketing message may be number seven on the list, but it is one of the most important. The best thing you can do to attract your ideal client is to have a clear and concise marketing message and stick to it everywhere! Be sure to communicate this message consistently through all your marketing channels. If you are not consistent, your customers will be confused about your business and services.

Mistake #8: Not Spending Enough Time on Marketing

Another mistake small business owners make is not spending enough time on marketing. If you don’t allocate enough time to marketing, your efforts will be ineffective. A best practice is to schedule dedicated time to work on your marketing efforts. Map out time to network, plan and create content, and execute and analyze campaigns.

Mistake #9: Not Having a Marketing Budget

There, I said it. Budget!! One of the biggest mistakes small business owners make is not having a marketing budget. When you have zero dollars allocated to marketing, you automatically think you can’t afford anything vital or beneficial to your overall marketing goals. Dedicating a specific amount of money to marketing each month makes it easy to know when to say “yes” to the right marketing strategies, tools, and support. Remember, marketing is the fuel to get leads that turn into sales which means more money and growth.

Mistake #10: Not Investing in Marketing Training

Finally, most small business owners do not have a background in marketing. If you don’t have the proper training, you won’t be able to execute your marketing plan effectively. Quality marketing training allows you and your in-house team to learn the latest techniques and strategies. Staying up to date and embracing upcoming trends will help you achieve results far past your competitors who fail to do so.


Every small business makes mistakes occasionally, but if you avoid or correct these common marketing mistakes, you can feel confident that you are marketing your business for growth and success.

Have you made any of these mistakes before? If so, don’t worry – it happens to everyone. Now that you know, challenge yourself to schedule some time to review your plan or create your first one in the next week or two.

Need help reviewing, revising, or completing a new marketing plan? We would love to help you grow your business! Schedule a call, and let’s talk about the best approach and in-house training for you.


Dreamtime Marketing is a Baton Rouge-based marketing consultancy that works with service-based professionals and non-profit organizations to develop and strengthen in-house marketing programs. We offer a range of services to ignite your marketing program, from single strategy sessions to monthly coaching, marketing training, and done-for-you marketing services. Discover the best options for you when you schedule a free discovery consultation.

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