So you started a business (a soup food truck), came up with a great name (The Soup Ally), a catchy slogan (“Yes, soup for you!”), and an eye-catching logo. You’ve had many meetings to discuss your marketing strategy, and you expect the sales to start rolling in any time now.
But they don’t. Why could this be? You’ve done all your research, gotten nothing but rave reviews from those who have eaten your soup, and you’ve even put flyers on telephone poles.
There could be many reasons why people aren’t purchasing your soup—not limited to the fact that you have decided to sell in the summer time (because it’s nice outside, and you can wear shorts).
Does this situation sound familiar? Here are some questions you can ask yourself if your sales are not at the level you expected them to be:
1. Are your marketing techniques out of date?
You may be able to trick yourself into thinking that word of mouth will be good enough to get your name out there, but that’s not the case anymore. Many people have told me about products or services they like, but I usually forget about them until I see them on the internet. Every business needs to at least have a Facebook page. People should be able to like your page, communicate their opinions or questions, and share your page with friends.
2. Are you marketing to the correct demographic?
Maybe The Soup Ally has a Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, and every other social media page available. But if they are only marketing to junior-highers and high-schoolers, they may not do very well. Teens do not have a lot of disposable income, and what little they do have will not be spent on soup. (At that age, I was spending it on claw machine games and Taco Bell.) You need to make sure you are reaching the correct demographics. Evaluate your product to determine who is most likely to purchase it, and go from there.
3. Is there an honest demand for your product?
This is the toughest question to ask yourself—because it could mean scrapping the whole idea and starting over. On the other hand, it may just mean tweaking some things to get it right. The Soup Ally would probably look at the situation and say there’s no demand for hot soup during the summer. However, if they changed their sale schedule to the fall and winter months, the demand would be much higher. Take a look at what you’re offering your customers, and gauge its demand in the area you sell.
Running a small business is difficult, so you should always look for ways to make it easier on yourself. Assessing your marketing techniques will help not only in the short term, but also in the long term. However, do not think that because you have a good technique now, it will be just as good in five years. Every business must reevaluate its marketing plan in order to stay relevant and effective.