not the sameAll small businesses are not created equal. What you think of as a small business may be very different from the kind of small business I think of – or market to.

For example, I work exclusively with solo consultants. Are coffee shops small businesses? Absolutely – but they’re not my type of small business customer. And I have absolutely nothing to offer if you tell me you want to manufacture a product. But that’s a small business, too.

Carol tackles this subject in her latest post on, “4 Top Mistakes Your Brand May Be Making When It Markets to Small Businesses.” Carol begins:

“Having worked as an advisor for companies ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 members and even global multinationals, I see the same mistakes being repeated over and over again for targeting entrepreneurs and small business owners.

1. Selling features versus solutions

Companies, especially large ones, like to tout their innovations and the features of their products and services. This takes place across the marketing media, whether companies are creating informational content or traditional advertisements.

This emphasis on features is at direct odds with the way entrepreneurs consume information. Most small business owners are busy and focused primarily on running their businesses. They prioritize the things that directly impact those operations that day, week, month and year — how to find new customers, treat employees, save more money and time, work fewer hours, etc.

So, unless you happen to be offering a solution to a “hair-on-fire” problem, like the virus that just infected a company’s computers or the lawsuit it just learned of, the company is not likely to pay much attention to your features-driven messaging.

The real solution here is akin to hiding peas in the mashed potatoes in order to get the vegetables benefit while focusing on the good stuff…”

You can read the rest of the post here.