Small businesses across all industries agree on one common challenge in running and growing their companies: time constraints. Small business owners and employees are so focused on the core operations of their business that it can be a struggle to find time to do all of the ancillary activities -- budgeting, taxes, marketing -- that are imperative to make a business thrive.
However, there's good news as we head into 2015 -- not all of the marketing tactics you've been using are necessary for your business. Small business owners, here are three things you should cut out in the new year to save you precious time and money without sacrificing growth.
- Running sales that hurt you: Do you run regular sales on your products and/or services? If so, take stock of the long-term ramifications for your business. For instance, if you run a major sale for a week one month, what is the total revenue for that month? Does it exceed that of a similar month when there was no sale? Running sales can increase units sold and might bring in new customers, but can also condition your best customers to only buy during sales, which hurts your customer lifetime value.
- Maintaining social profiles that don't help you: Does your business have a presence on every major social profile -- Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, etc.? How many of them are really aligned with where your target customer is, and where they'll look for you? Spend your time and mental energy on the social platform or platforms that make the most sense for your business. For the others, make sure that you stake a claim by securing the profile with your company's name, set up your basic contact information and offerings, and then only post there during major company events or announcements. This ensures that your time is aligned with the biggest impact for your business.
- Spending on outdated approaches: Are you still spending your hard-earned money to get a listing in the printed phone directories? In all but a handful of verticals or cases, that's probably a waste of money. Think about online small business directories instead. Ask your newest and best customers how they heard about you, and then do a serious assessments of those marketing channels -- especially paid marketing channels -- that are never mentioned. Cut those out going forward and pocket that cash or spend it on loyalty initiatives for your best customers.
By making 2015 the year of less, you could spur your business to new heights!