The World's Biggest Small Business Marketing Myth

There is a certain level of naiveté and optimism that comes with being a small business entrepreneur. The dream of being one's own boss and achieving success requires confidence, risk taking, and a little bit of insanity.

Having clear judgment and the ability to see the big picture is essential to bringing balance and creating a thriving business. However, we often get in our own way with preconceived notions and ideas about marketing which are untrue and lead to less than desirable results.

A prime example of this is the belief that one can create "perfect" marketing for their business. This attitude is the biggest small business marketing myth. There is no such thing as perfect marketing!

Many entrepreneurs spend countless and unnecessary hours editing and tweaking their marketing materials to look perfect. They lose sight of the fact that marketing should be, first and foremost, effective. Does it work is always more important than how many kudos and awards it may receive.

Looking to create perfection in marketing can be a fatal approach to take for many reasons. Here are a few things to consider:

First, striving to create perfect marketing creates missed opportunities. It eats up a lot of time and timing is critical. Successful marketing only happens when your message meets the moment of need while the prospect is searching for your product or service. If your message is not in the marketplace, how are they going to select you over your competitor?

The opportunity cost of missing this moment is huge for you and fortunate for your competitor. You not only missed the sale, but that customer may never consider you again because they have now experienced your competitor's product or service. People do business with people they know. If your competitor establishes the relationship first, you will be required to fight harder to win them over to your side. This will cost you a great deal of time and money in the long run.

Second, people really don't care about your marketing materials. When they are ready to buy, a prospect only wants information on your product or service. They want to be convinced of why it would be the best choice for them. They are apathetic about the layout, color, type font, and photo position of your brochure. They only want quality information that helps them make a confident decision not perfect design.

Remember, most of the time your marketing is an interruption to their day. It's a common belief that the average person is exposed to over 3,000 marketing messages each day. How many of those are wanted intrusions and how many are welcome offers? The quality and the approach of the message are much more important than the details of the design and delivery.

Third, you are not marketing to yourself. Too often, small business marketing is done to satisfy the entrepreneur who created it and not the prospect or customer. The owner of a business will design marketing materials to satisfy their desires. When this happens, the message is skewed to what the owner prefers and the customer's needs and wants are ignored.

The marketing ends up being an exercise in ego for the business owner rather than a compelling message that gets the prospect to part with their money. Designing your marketing to satisfy yourself rarely brings in business. Get to know what your prospects and clients are looking for and develop to those wants and needs.

And lastly, marketing by nature is a game of failure. It's impossible to be perfect. Not all of your marketing strategies and tactics will work for any number of reasons.

The only way to be sure of your efforts is to develop a testing mentality. This approach is simply putting to a test two different marketing approaches and quantifying the results. These results will reveal what really works and which message your market is willing to act upon.

This requires planning and patience but is a much more reliable indicator than going with your gut instincts. Testing will lead you to the closest you'll come to creating perfect marketing because the market has determined your approach.

Remember, people buy for their reasons; not yours. No matter how much time, effort, and money you put into developing your marketing it will never be perfect. So focus your energy on producing effective marketing quickly and consistently. Test it, measure the results and move on. That way you will dictate the terms to your competitors rather than the other way around.