Congratulations on starting your own business! You deserve all of the credit, pats on the back, kudos and praises for venturing out on your own. That first hurdle is cleared and now in the past. All the while, you’re quickly approaching the next one—successful marketing and retaining paying customers.

Your logo has been created. It’s three colors, circular in shape, and promotes a vintage feel. You look at your logo with pride and you know without a doubt that it represents your brand as you intended it to do. Your first brochure is printed and it highlights your logo. Being the proud SBO that you are, you strategically place it on the counter—next to your register. If you don’t have a counter, you carefully place it in your business tactical bag, making sure not to bend its corners. It has bold letters giving your customers just enough information that makes them want to open it. As it’s carefully unfolded, you can hear the crisp folds being opened for the first time and you know that your idea is coming to fruition. It emanates the smell of freshly printed ink—hot off the press! This new brochure reminds you of the same senses and feelings of the time you sat in your first new car. The hint of your reflection in its glossy coating projects a finished, high-end feel. It has a marvelous call-to-action which informs your readers to get more information by visiting your website.

Speaking of websites, you know, the tool that provides your business a twenty-four-hour salesperson. It’s the one marketing tool over ninety percent of potential customers search for and review before stepping foot into your establishment.  It’s the most important portal that literally connects you with the world. You may have created it yourself or you might have hired someone to do it for you. Either way, your logo, your brochure, and your website are amazing because it has your stamp of approval on it. Remember, you deserve all of the credit, pats on the back, kudos and praises for launching this thing on your own!

So far, you’re holding your own in the race. The previous hurdles are in the past. You’ve found your stride and you’ve turned on cruise control. However, that next hurdle is vastly approaching and this one is different. From a distance, it looked the same height as the previous hurdles. However, this one is looking taller and taller with every step. All of a sudden, it’s the tallest hurdle you’ve come to. Approaching it, you think “I might not make it” or “I’ve got this”. If you clear it, you’re golden. If you don’t, you might fall and you will have to find your stride again. Failing this hurdle might even make you lose the race completely.

While there are many lanes business owners take to find success, many manage to leap and trip over the hurdle of losing customers. As a business owner, you must find enough resources and creativity to leap this hurdle so your legs are ready to hit the ground running again. Below are three ways your business is losing sales simply because this hurdle seems too difficult to jump.


You aren’t selling to your customers.

In today’s world, marketing is more than a fancy brochure or a trendy website. The digital arena is so vast and complex it’s really hard to find where your customers are hanging out. Between traditional marketing such as TV, Print and Radio, and today’s digital platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, which one is right for you?  The answer is knowing who your customers really are. Are they millennials who have a screen accessible to them every waking minute?  Are they a Baby Boomer who reads the newspaper every day because they’re not sure what a hashtag is? Whoever your customer is, you need to be talking to them in their most natural behaviors.


Tips to sell to your customers:
  • Define your main target audience and research their behaviors. Are they mobile savvy? Do they read the daily herald? Find out how often they engage their natural marketing mediums.
  • Ask your customers what their favorite social media platform is and use it.
  • As with a typical conversation, be interesting and natural with your marketing approach. Don’t be that person who rings the doorbell during dinner time trying to sell pest control, windows or a new roof.


You don’t stand out in the marketplace.

We’ve all heard the phrase “You’re a small fish in a big pond”. After many years of success, you might still be a small fish. No matter how small or big of a fish you are, standing out amongst all of your competition isn’t easy and it’s an on-going, never-ending process. Prospects and customers literally have the Internet in their pocket—at all times. They, like you, use it on a regular basis in order to compare brands and offers—including your competition. You must give them a reason to want to come back. Are you providing an experience they will never forget? Are you providing a one-and-done product—like a new roof? Or are you a local café that provides free wifi and a bagel? What experience can you create that makes your customers engage with your brand in new ways?


Tips on how to stand out in the market place:
  • Create a unique experience that only your business can provide. This might be a newsletter, customer loyalty program, or even new happy hours.
  • Just because your competition is wearing new clothes, doesn’t mean they will look good on you. Don’t clone their closet just because you saw it work for them.
  • Connect with local influencers. These are people that are passionate about your product/service and let them help spread the word of your business.


Your marketing and advertising tactics are inadequate.

This point is cutting straight to the hard-to-accept fact. You’re losing sales because you’re neglecting to talk to your customers in the right language. Instead, you’re spending important marketing dollars on messages that are lousy, stale, and don’t speak directly to your customer. As a business owner, you have a responsibility to spend your marketing budget on ideas that work or on a company who can make it work for you. You also deserve a campaign that can provide measurable ROI. You’re losing sales and you must be open to new ideas by implementing new strategies that take you out of your comfort zone. Don’t give up until you find what works because, in the meantime, your customers are shopping, eating, and calling your competition.


Tips on how to make your marketing and advertising work:
  • Nothing grows when hanging out in complacency. If you’re complacent, your business is being targeted by brands looking to pull your remaining customers into their establishment. Don’t give up and don’t get complacent.
  • Be open to change—don’t dismiss an idea until you see it did not or could not provide a return on your investment. Don’t be that owner who keeps doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results each time.
  • You need help so ask a professional. Twenty 4 Design has been creating marketing strategies and campaigns for nearly 20 years. We’ve worked in and with Corporate America and America’s main street business sectors. Contact us today for a free quote—your business depends on it.