Why The Wrong Advice Can Really Hurt Your Business

by G.B. Oliver

I have seen too many cases of small businesses seeking the advice of non-marketing professionals about their shop and products. While I understand your frustration at not selling, you have to be really careful of the advice that may result.

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Everyone has an opinion, and usually the best of intentions. However, without a clear understanding of your products and target market, people’s opinions can steer you down completely the wrong path.

I have seen it many times, advice given that makes me cringe. And while you are off taking their advice, your competition is doing things the correct way and eating up your share of the market.

You should NOT base your marketing or product decisions on random people’s opinions, unless they are your target market or a marketing professional.

Only Your Target Market’s Opinion Matters

Here is what I mean. If I am selling cutesy necklaces aimed at the teen market, am I going to ask a group of men in their 50s what I am doing wrong? When you go and ask people who are not your target market – friends, family members, people in forums – I am afraid that is pretty much the same situation.

That is why companies do focus groups. They interview candidates to first ensure that they are their target market (the age, gender and income, to name a few, of the people who the product is aimed at) and then ask their opinion on a variety of topics. Would you buy this? Why not? Is the price too high, too low? What influences you when buying jewelry? What magazines do you read? What blogs do you visit? and so on.

Professional Marketing Advice Will Give You the Advantage

Now, not everyone has the opportunity to do this, so that is where a marketing professional comes in, because they can do the research, they are out there in the marketplace on a daily basis, they do know why people buy, what they buy, the influencers and the appropriate media, just to name a few.

It is very difficult to market your own products because you are too close too them and, therefore, not always objective. That is why a professional opinion can prove invaluable, seeing things you may never have thought about.

You also have to be willing to take advice that may hurt or that you may not agree with. You don’t want people to just tell you what you want to hear. You won’t benefit from that. At the end of the day, if you are truly serious about your business and want to make sales that will allow you to quit your day job, professional marketing advice will get your shop on the right path.

I OFFER a variety of affordable marketing services from consulting to guides that will help you go from selling a little to selling a lot. You can get more information at my shop here. Also check out the variety of articles I have written here on my blog, that will help give you a better understanding of what marketing can do for your business.

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© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.

Author: Gail Oliver, Online Small Business Consultant

I'm Gail Oliver, an online marketing consultant. Welcome to my blog, chosen one of the Top 10 Small Business Blogs to Follow in 2014 by American Express Open Forum. If you need help with your e-commerce business, be sure to see MY SERVICES, above.