Three Big Barriers To Small Business Marketing Success

When you feel like you're always busy working on your business, but not getting where you want to go, it can be frustrating trying to figure out how to get your marketing on track. It can easily become a "not seeing the forest for the trees" feeling.


Here are three big barriers I regularly come across with business owners and how you can avoid them.

1. No Clear Definition Of Success
For some, the word Success brings thoughts of fame and fortune to mind. But for small businesses, I'd caution against this definition being your guiding light. When clarifying your own definition of success, I suggest starting with success from your client's point of view.


What is it that you are trying to do for your clients? What is it that they'll have or be able to do as a result of buying your service from you? Match this up with what you are passionate about. What is it that you love doing for your clients? I'll know I'm successful when my clients no longer have to struggle with how to consistently attract more business.


2. Not Clarifying Who Your Ideal Clients Are
When you can clarify who your ideal clients are, you are better prepared to know where to find them and how to market to them. You can develop messages that will appeal directly to them.

What do you know about your best clients? Spend some time to put together as complete of a profile as you can on the clients you enjoy working with the most. What are the demographics and characteristics? How would you describe them to someone who has never met them?


Without clarity of your ideal clients, you're likely to waste time, effort, and money marketing to the wrong crowd(s) and/or not getting your message across.


3. Not Spelling Out Your Unique Value
You must be able to clearly define what differentiates you from your competitors. If your prospects can't differentiate you from all the competitive alternatives in the marketplace, then why would they come to buy from you?


Often for small businesses it's not that they're not unique, it's just that they haven't spent the time to evaluate and clearly describe how and why. What is it that you do better, faster, cheaper, or more effectively ? whatever? Maybe it's a unique model you've developed or the unique niche of clients you serve. Maybe it's your satisfaction guarantee offered to clients.


Most important here is to spell out why your uniqueness is so important to your clients and prospects. Why should they care? What is it that they'll get by coming to you for services?


Spend some time critically looking at these items for your business. It will be time very well spent. If you find you can't see the forest for the trees, don't hesitate to get some outside help.

(c) 2004 - Kevin Dervin, KPD Marketing

About the Author:

Kevin Dervin is focused on helping small businesses that are ready to grow, but struggle with how to consistently attract more clients. Visit http://www.proven-small-business-mar keting-solutions.com for more great marketing information you can put to use in growing your business today.

Find Kevin's Kansas City based KPD Marketing practice at http://www.ABCDgrowth.com and subscribe to his free ezine called ABCD Grow.

In The News:

25 Hobbies You Can Transform into a Small Business  Small Business TrendsWith a little research and investment, it really is possible to turn these 25 pastimes into hobbies that make money as a small business.
Tucker's owners selected as Small Business Persons of the Year  The Union LeaderSince 2014, “Good Eats, Great People” has been a winning formula for Tucker Restaurant Group LLC — better known as Tucker's.
Apple Drops The Price On Several Expensive Mac Upgrades...And Other Small Business Tech News This Week  ForbesHere are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them? 1 — Apple dropped the price on several ...
Simson fears for small biz marketers  https://www.innovationaus.com/Something needs to be done about the concentration of digital advertising around Facebook and Google, with both regularly changing the rules so there is little ...
Chicago Workshop Teaches Small Businesses about the Voice of the Customer  Small Business TrendsShares. |. Print This Article · Email this Article. 0. Shares. Email this Article Print This Article. Voice actor business. The Voice of the Customer (VOC) grows louder ...
Backyard Banter: Three ways to access finance as a small business owner  Stuff.co.nzSmall business owners are finding it harder to get the finance they need from traditional lenders.
9 Small Business Development officials suspended over corruption allegations  DestinyManThe department in a statement said it has so far on Thursday issued nine precautionary suspension letters, of which seven are against Black Business Supplier ...
Hattiesburg salon owner puts on small business seminar  WDAMA local salon owner is taking strides to help aspiring entrepreneurs by hosting a small business seminar.
Our crumbling infrastructure is failing small businesses | TheHill  The HillDaniel Speer had a simple task: Visit three clients of his home remodeling company in and around Washington, D.C.. While conversations with each client ...
Small Businesses in Starkville Flourish on Game Days  WCBISTARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI)- The Mississippi State Women's basketball team shot hoops at home Sunday night and with a big game comes big crowds.
House Members Want American Small Business Exports to Rise  Small Business TrendsWhen it comes to exporting, small businesses face considerable hurdles. The House aims to help small businesses by improving the SBA Step Program.
GEICO's Tips for Small Business Owners at Tax Time  Business WireWASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Small business owners know “tax time” is an all-year-long process. With new tax rules in effect, GEICO has four tips that ...
10 Ways to Improve Your Business, Online and Offline  Small Business TrendsShares. |. 50 · 5. Print This Article. Email this Article. 50. Shares. 50 · 5 · Email this Article Print This Article. To run a successful business in 2019, you need to ...
Small Businesses Like Mine Need Paid Family and Medical Leave  CounterPunchTen years ago, my husband and I opened a specialty oil and vinegar shop. Early on, we learned that our store would be only as good as the people who work in ...
Small Business: Ready-to-eat meals, Fed is doing it old school  New Zealand HeraldBecky Erwood, co-founder of ready-to-eat meals company Fed, discusses opportunities in the market and fewer options available in New Zealand. What does ...
Security camera catches thief stealing watches from small business in Phoenix  AZFamilyThe owner of a watch shop in Phoenix said he's out money after someone broke into his shop and stole $12000 worth of watches.
Biz Bytes: Minority-owned small businesses can win grant for equipment  Quad City TimesMinority-owned small businesses in the Quad-Cities can now apply for a grant to purchase or repair equipment.
Pauline Nguyen on how to be happy while running a small business  ABC NewsCo-running a successful business meant Pauline Nguyen's health and relationships suffered. This was until she found the joy in running a business.
No, it’s not money — this is the one thing small businesses need to succeed, according to survey  Business InsiderKabbage recently polled 600 thriving US small business owners to better understand their cash flow issues and found that a third of them started with less than ...
Intuit Tweaks QuickBooks Subscriptions, Again--and Small Business Owners Aren't Happy  Inc.Intuit, the maker of popular QuickBooks accounting software, is tweaking the terms of its online subscription plans next month--and some business customers are ...
Tax appeal changes a victory for small business in ATO battle  The AustralianDespite the turmoil in Canberra, Australia now looks set to have a fair tax appeal system for small business, the biggest step to promote Australian ...
How small businesses are impacted by tax reform  CNBCSmall business owners are benefiting from a business deductions in the tax code but the change to the individual tax code expires after 2025. So what does this ...
Hulu’s ‘Small Business Revolution’ Announces Searcy’s 6 Small Businesses To Be Featured On The Show  KFSM 5NewsonlineSEARCY, Ark. — On Friday, March 22, Small Business Revolution hosts Ty Pennington and Amanda Brinkman made their way to Searcy to reveal the top six ...
Small businesses cheer Trump tax reforms, but some feel they didn't go far enough  CNBCTax breaks enacted to help small businesses aren't permanent, and that's made it difficult for business owners to make long-term decisions.
How Small Businesses Can Master The Art Of Selling On Amazon  ForbesEveryone knows Amazon is killing America's small businesses — right? Believe it or not, many small business leaders say just the opposite. When commercial ...
Davao chili industry call for more small business-friendly FDA  BusinessWorld OnlineDAVAO CITY — Dabawenyo Capsicum, a group of manufacturers of chili pepper products, said bureaucracy remains their biggest stumbling block despite the ...
6 handy tools to run your business from home  Economic TimesWhile it has become easy to start a small business these days, the day-to-day management can be tough. ET Wealth lists useful tools that can make the running ...
Keep your business booming: Five keys to small business success  Forbes IndiaA Seattle entrepreneur speaks about the things to keep in mind to improve chances of small business success.
How to Make Your Small Business Look More Attractive Using Social Media  Tech in AfricaStarting a business in this digital era offers you the opportunity to gain success, especially with the help of social media. Social media provides you tons of ...
Six Searcy small businesses selected for 'Small Business Revolution'  www.fox16.comThey are Savor & Sip, Zion Climbing Center, noomaLIFE, Whilma's Filipino Restaurant, El Mercado, and Organic Woodwork.
Nine small business development officials suspended over corruption claims  IOLSeveral officials of the Department of Small Business Development have been suspended with immediate effect.
3 Big-Business Things a Small Business Must Do  The Motley FoolIt's not always easy to compete, but there are a few areas in which it's important to figure it out.
House price falls could spill over into small business, financial regulators warn  ABC NewsFalling house prices could spill over into small business lending, squeezing already tight credit conditions and their ability to raise much needed cash, according ...
Want more small business shine? Grow your Twitter universe  USA TODAYMost entrepreneurs fail to take advantage of all the ways a booming Twitter network can enhance their small business.
Digital Lending To Small Business Set To Surge, Says BCG-Omidyar Report  BloombergQuintIf payments were the chosen flavor of the fintech universe a few years ago, then digital lending, particularly to small business, is the newest opportunity attracting ...
How the small guy hurts when the power goes out  News24Among small businesses, load shedding produces some winners and many losers. The playing field is hardly even when there are power cuts, which are ...
Small businesses, experts slam "stressful" Incomes Register  YLE NewsExperts and entrepreneurs increasingly say that small businesses are having their feet held to the fire by the Tax Administration's new Incomes Register ...
Wichita restaurant owner named KS Small Business Person of the Year  Hays PostSBA. WASHINGTON, D.C. – Administrator Linda McMahon, the head of the U.S. Small Business Administration, announced the 2019 Small Business Persons of ...
Social media marketing could do more harm than good for small businesses  HalifaxToday.caWithout a clear strategy in place, many small businesses are wasting their time online, says digital strategist Kim Scaravelli.
As these N.L. small businesses ditch plastic, one expert says: that's the future  CBC.caWaves of Change is a CBC series exploring the single-use plastic we're discarding, and why we need to clean up our act. You can be part of the community ...
TIO sets up small business team  iTWireThe Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman is no fool – it's setting up a specialist team to handle small business complaints, effective 1 April. The T...
Joburg small businesses scrambling to stay afloat as load shedding takes toll  EWNSmall companies and entrepreneurs have been hit the hardest and have been given little hope by Eskom CEO Phakamani Hadebe, who warned that it could ...
Small Business Hiring Breaks Record  The Wall Street JournalThe great American jobs machine is still roaring. Slowing global growth and trade friction may cloud the economic horizon, but U.S. small businesses in ...
Germany raises alarm about small businesses’ Brexit exposure  Financial TimesCentral bank becomes increasingly concerned by slow pace of 'repapering' process.
Small business tsar intervenes over late-paying Ryvita  This is MoneyPaul Uppal, the Small Business Commissioner, has rebuked Jordans & Ryvita for being slow to pay Magellan Design.
DOE Announces $100 Million in Small Business Innovation and Technology Funding  Energy.govWASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer ...
Want to Be on 'Shark Tank'? The Show Is Casting for the Upcoming Season  The Cheat SheetDo you spend your days at the work day-dreaming about giving your boss the boot and striking out on your own? You're not alone. Two-thirds of Americans want ...
Microsoft: Windows 10 Will Auto-Uninstall Buggy Updates...And Other Small Business Tech News This Week  ForbesHere are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them? 1 — Microsoft: Windows 10 can now ...
Duplin County farmer named 'Small Business Person of the Year' in NC  WCTI12.comA Duplin County farmer, who is a Canadian immigrant and naturalized U. S. citizen, has been named the 2019 SBA North Carolina Small Business Person of the ...
Business group making small wins in future-proofing  ObserverFUTURE-proofing the region and growing small business can be achieved from within but it will require a boost from the outside.
Mouthguard maker, artificial intelligence company win 'small business of the year' awards  MLive.comA Saline mouthguard company will receive the "Best Small Business" award in May through the Michigan Small Business Development Center.
Business calendar  Chico Enterprise-RecordMarch 26: The business counseling nonprofit SCORE is hosting a workshop “Understanding Business Legal Liability Related to Employment.” Details: 9:30 to ...
Small businesses struggle to find qualified candidates, report finds  CNBCMarty Mucci, president and CEO of Paychex, joins "Squawk Box" to explain Paychex's small business job index report. The discussion touches on the struggles ...
'No guarantees of delivery': Businesses warned of alleged letterbox scam  Sydney Morning HeraldSmall businesses are being warned about an alleged letterbox delivery scam where small businesses pay thousands of dollars for local 'letterbox delivery' ...
Small Business 401(k) Recordkeeper Redesigns Website  PLANSPONSORLT Trust's new website will serve as a 401(k) resource center to employers sponsoring 401(k) plans and to their employees.
New Data Breach Trends: Small Business Identity Records Now Target #1 for Hackers  CPO MagazineNew 4iQ report indicates that data breaches were up by over 420% from 2017, exposing a total of almost 15 billion identity records. Small businesses are being ...
Gov. Abbott invites local entrepreneurs to small business conference in Edinburg  MonitorSouth Texas entrepreneurs looking to start or grow their business can attend a Small Business Conference on Friday, March 29 in Edinburg, according to a ...
What’s the magic number for cash in a small business? Here are strategies to figure that out.  Philly.comAsk any small-business owner and you'll be told that having plenty of cash in the bank is probably the most important indicator of our financial health.
HP Updates Its Consumer and Small Business PCs  Thurrott.comHP today announced new Envy laptops and convertibles for consumers and a new lineup of ProBooks and HP ProDesk PCs for small businesses.
How to protect your small business from the dark web  TechRepublicEducation, monitoring and response tools, and training about the dark web are essential to protecting your small business from cybercriminals.
Social Media Management for Small Businesses: How to Do It  Black EnterpriseThe internet has 4.2 billion users, 3.4 billion of whom are actively using social media. Clearly, social media management for small businesses is necessary if you ...
St. Pete opens small business opportunities at the Pier  St Pete CatalystA handful of small businesses will get a chance to sell their goods on what essentially will be the front door of the new St. Pete Pier. The city plans to include ...
A passion for small business is overrated – it won't make you money  The GuardianMy most successful small-business clients aren't the most passionate. What excites them is making money.
China's small businesses are promised more money  Euromoney magazineChinese premier Li Keqiang has told the country's banks they need to increase their lending to small companies, but the details are fuzzy.
Almost a third of small businesses have no cyber security strategies  http://smallbusiness.co.ukA new report from Business in the Community reveals that many small businesses are leaving themselves vulnerable to cyber attacks.
Inspirational Ronald Reagan Quotes for Small Business  Small Business TrendsAs you can see from these Ronald Reagan quotes, the former U.S. President had a great grasp on what it means to be an entrepreneur and small business ...
3 Reasons Online Marketplaces Help Small Business Owners Choose the Best Health Insurance  DATAQUESTProviding your employees with insurance coverage is one of the best ways for small business owners to support their employees. Employees with health ...
73% of All Small Business Teams Will Have Remote Workers by 2028  Small Business TrendsThe latest statistics from Upwork reveal the growth of remote workforce trends. Will we all wind up working from home eventually?
61% of Veteran Small Business Owners Built Their Business on Facebook  Small Business TrendsIf small business owners want to succeed, they need to understand the impact of technology on small business and customer expectations.
Radcliff Small Business Alliance welcomes Tuscany Italian Restaurant  Elizabethtown News EnterpriseThe Radcliff Small Business Alliance conducted a ribbon cutting ceremony with its newest member, Tuscany Italian Restaurant, in Radcliff Center on East ...
How load shedding has impacted small businesses  News24Small business owners in Braamfontein are concerned that they may have to close their businesses if rampant load shedding continues. Speaking to News24 ...
Small business grows in NYS, but pay lags behind nation  Times Union Albany. New York might be doing a little better at creating small business jobs than the rest of the nation, but those jobs aren't paying as well as those elsewhere ...
4 reasons you should work for a small business  Fox BusinessIt can be a smart move for your career, but maybe not for the reasons you think.
Facebook powering small business to access markets, says India head  Economic TimesNEW DELHI: Social networking giant Facebook is powering small business across the country by providing tools on its platforms to access markets, which ...
US Air Force boosting small business contracting to increase innovation  IHS Jane's 360Key Points The US Air Force is emphasising more small business contracting The *service* wants more cutting-edge technologies to start in the USAF The US Air ...
KeyBank's Small Business Review Receives 2019 Monarch Innovation Award  GuruFocus.comPR Newswire. CLEVELAND, March 21, 2019. CLEVELAND, March 21, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- KeyBank's Small Business Wellness Review program has been ...
Australia's NAB to expand threshold for small business protections  ReutersNational Australia Bank said on Friday it would expand the threshold for small business protections and would work with regulators to implement other key ...
GDPR: What Small Businesses Need To Know  ForbesRemaining GDPR compliant means building a business that data users can trust.
Q&A: Cathy Fisher  Crain's Cleveland BusinessIn her current role, held since 2014, Cathy Fisher leads more than 50 team members providing advice and banking services to small businesses in Ohio, ...
Suncorp targets extra $3b in small biz loans  Sydney Morning HeraldSuncorp has vowed to ramp up small business lending by $3 billion, buoyed by officials pushing back against a key recommendation of the Hayne royal ...
Keller @ Large: Tariffs Impacting Small Business Owner In Weymouth  CBS BostonBOSTON (CBS) – The global trade battle begun by President Trump over a year ago shows no sign of abating, even though the negative impact on American ...
Load shedding: Small business owners are losing money  EWNMany business owners have introduced flexitime for workers and are using generators to power the essentials.
Opinion: Small business tax would kill Michigan jobs  The Detroit NewsCalley writes: "We should be sending small businesses a thank you note, not a substantially larger tax bill."
Small Business Owner On Trump's Tariffs And Trade With China  NPRNPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro talks with Tiffany Williams about how President Trump's tariffs are affecting her business. She's the co-owner of a luggage shop in ...
Brewer named VT Small Business Person of the Year  Vermont BizThe owner of a St. Albans brewing company is named the 2019 Vermont Small Business Person of the Year. Steve Gagner, owner and founder of 14th Star ...
Cincinnati restaurateur named Ohio’s Small Business Person of the Year  Cincinnati Business CourierThe owner of a Mount Washington restaurant that began in modest fashion five years ago is the recipient of a prestigious state award.
The definitions of micro, small, and medium businesses have just been radically overhauled – here's how  Business Insider South Africa"Very small enterprises" have disappeared entirely, as have asset-value ceilings. And companies with turnover of up to R220 million can now qualify as ...
The biggest challenges that small businesses face  Business MattersBusiness MattersSetting up and running your own business can be a very rewarding pursuit and a great way to make a living, but it is also a huge challenge.
Think About Starting a Side Hustle? 50 Ideas to Consider  Small Business TrendsSide hustles are basically gigs or businesses that you can easily manage alongside a full time job or business. Here are 50 side hustle ideas to consider.
10 Tips for Updating Your Small Biz Strategies with New Innovations  Small Business TrendsShares. |. 175 · 36. Print This Article. 3. Email this Article. 175. Shares. 175 · 36 · 3 · Email this Article Print This Article. Updated tech is extremely important for ...
Big banks join forces with mini-hubs for small business  Financial TimesThree of Britain's four largest banks have teamed up to launch jointly-run mini- branches for business customers amid rising concerns that branch closures and ...
No, immigrant-owned small businesses won’t “do just fine” under California’s new privacy law  OCRegisterI was drawn in by the coverage of last month's hearing in the State Capitol on California's new privacy law, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).
3/17/19: American Black Journal - Small Business Workshop / Fresh Nation  Detroit PBS - One DetroitThe 5th annual Small Business Workshop is coming up in May, and this year's theme focuses on how small business owners can navigate changes in the ...
Why Small Business Owners are Banking on P2P Lending  EntrepreneurSmall enterprises end up approaching the unorganized private sector lending agencies or the loan sharks who charge an exorbitantly high-interest rate and ...
Searcy, Arkansas is the Winner of Small Business Revolution Season 4  Small Business TrendsSmall Business Revolution Season 4 will take place in the town of Searcy, Arkansas. Here's what that means for the town as well as viewers.
Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Ordinance: Bad news for small businesses?  Moneycontrol.comConcerns have been expressed that the law is extremely harsh and will lead to hardship for many individuals, small businesses etc. Doubt have been expressed ...
33% of Small Business Owners Struggling to Find the Motivation  Small Business TrendsFeeling down? As the latest small business motivation statistics reveal, you're not alone. Here are all the numbers, plus some tips to help get you going.
27 Best Small Business Credit Cards in 2019  CardRates.comOne of the fundamental financial rules of having your own business is that you must keep your personal and business finances as separate as possible. This not ...
Blake Pate named Small Business Person of the Year in Florence  SCNowFLORENCE, S.C. – Blake Pate followed in his father's footsteps on Tuesday when he was named the 2019 Small Business Person of the Year during the ...
Business calendar: March and April seminars and workshops - News  The Fayetteville ObserverMONDAY • Your Small Business Taxes: 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Fayetteville Technical Community College, Center for Business & Industry, Room 127. Get familiar ...

Collection Agency Selection

Frankly, given the legal and regulatory requirements involved in attempting... Read More

Small Business Marketing: Specialize or Generalize?

There have been many great points raised on both sides... Read More

Debit and ATM Card Advice for Small Businesses

Your business account comes with an ATM, Debit card. Pick... Read More

Common Sources of Financing for Small Business

The choice of financing is an important determinant of whether... Read More

Expanding your business.

Are you a small business owner who wants to expand... Read More

Building A Business That Works For You

Before you want to build your business, you need to... Read More

Cost Effective Franchise Regulations, Come again

The Franchise Group at the Federal Trade Commission in all... Read More

FTC Adding to the Franchise Rule

Last summer the FTC put forth a report and then... Read More

Franchise Buyers from Hell

I ran a franchise company for many years, a car... Read More

Time to Sell your Restaurant? Some Advice from Restaurant Consultants, Inc.

As a specialist in getting restaurants open, it is surprising... Read More

Small Businesses With Work Trucks; A Warning

If you are a non-operator owner of many work trucks,... Read More

The Virtual Assistant

As a small business owner, outsourcing work to Virtual Assistants... Read More

Small Business Success - It?s a Matter of Confidence

I was floored! I couldn't believe what they were saying!... Read More

Building Marketing Momentum For Your Small Business

The success of your business depends on your ability to... Read More

Self-Employment: Managing Your Money: Tips for Living with a Fluctuating Cash Flow (Part One)

The way you manage your money is one of the... Read More

Employee Induction - Are you Inducting your People - A Practical How To

In today's fast paced marketplace it is easy to neglect... Read More

Small Business Ideas - Your Image Can Lose You Business

What image do you and your people portray to your... Read More

Profits are within 6 Degrees of Freedom

How far away is the person you need to meet?We... Read More

There Are No Dumb Business Questions, Not!

Q: I'm curious. What is the dumbest business question you've... Read More

Dynamics of Daylight Savings Time on Service Businesses in the United States

The Dynamics of Daylight Savings Time changes the way we... Read More

Financial Dose for Business

The goals of businesses have undergone much evolution from the... Read More

Youll See It When You Believe It - Growing Your Business from the Inside Out

What unspoken message are you sending your clients and customers?... Read More

Small Business Checks ? Money Saving Options

When you go into business for yourself, there are many... Read More

Why Small and Medium-Sized Businesses Should

As the owner or an employee of a small-to medium-sized... Read More

California Department of Corporations Attempts to PR Their Benefits to Consumers

On Monday the Department of Corporations in California revoked franchise... Read More