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10 Small Business Marketing Mistakes You Should Avoid

Updated: Jan 25

On average, almost 80% of leads you receive will never convert into sales. This is compounded if you are conducting your small business marketing without a strong marketing strategy. However, there is a catch: Most small business owners skew that percentage downward by making wasteful marketing decisions that are easily avoidable. Even those with a solid strategy in mind could end up making costly mistakes.

We are going to do you a favor and lay out the 10 small business marketing mistakes you should avoid in 2023.

Girl overlooking a mountain contemplating business problems

By dodging these mistakes, you can work smarter and focus your hard work in areas that will actually grow your business this year. With a sound strategy you can boost brand awareness and generate fresh leads, but with this knowledge in mind you can also CLOSE those leads into sales.

Get ahead of the curve this year! Set yourself up for success by avoiding these costly mistakes.


1. Never Setting SMART Goals

How can you accomplish your business goals if you don't know what they are first? Are your marketing goals in line with your business goals, too? If you feel like a deer in the headlights just by reading those sentences, then it’s likely you’re either a victim of this mistake or are at risk of making it soon.

It is entirely possible to start making marketing mistakes before you even start marketing.

In order to determine which marketing strategies to use, you need to consider your goals. From a top down view, what do you want to accomplish in 2023?

Business owner writing down her SMART goals

For example, maybe you have a few of these in mind:

  • Attract more website traffic

  • Generate more leads

  • Become a thought leader in your industry

  • Boost brand awareness

  • Grow brand trust and loyalty

  • Increase your customer base

These items are very broad, and each has several pathways to achieve each one.

You can achieve these goals with a targeted, goal specific marketing strategy. As a limited example, maybe you’re asking yourself “How do I grow my website’s traffic?” The most common answers would be to consider using Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising. Individually, both can certainly aid you in accomplishing your broad goal; with the point being there are often multiple answers to any given goal.

You may have noticed that we have been slipping in some words thus far all related to “broad” or ”generic”.

Dad and baby fist bumping over a dad joke
Dad Joke Fist Bump

The purpose of this is to contrast the main point of this mistake: failure to setting SMART goals. Impending Dad joke warning: It’s smart to make SMART goals! To make your goals SMART, make sure they meet the following criteria: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-driven, Timely.

For example, for the broad goal of generating more leads we would execute the SMART goal process. We may end up with: Generate 30% more qualified leads by the fourth quarter of 2023.

SMART Goal Breakdown:

  1. Specific: 30%

  2. Measurable: Percent increase in leads

  3. Attainable: In this example 30% is realistic

  4. Results-driven: Qualified leads over unqualified

  5. Timely: We have set a timeline of Q4 2023

a group of friends playing spikeball
Strategy and Fun!