In a perfect world, marketing would hardly be necessary. If a product or service is really great, it would somehow magically appear in front of the people who would most benefit from it, they would buy it, and everyone would live happily ever after. But we know better. The marketplace is crowded, especially online.
The relative success or failure of your business
There are many reasons for business success and failure. Sometimes we don't even know why a business fails to thrive—entrepreneurship does not follow a formula. However, one critical aspect to your business success is marketing. If your service business is doing poorly, it may be because you're lacking basic, well organized information, or not communicating value.
The service business
Consider a business that offers classes on some kind of schedule. This could be yoga or CPR, pilates or foreign languages, the subject doesn't matter. Let's say a potential customer hears about your classes from a friend and wants to find out what you offer. They'll commonly go straight to your website, expecting to find what they're looking for, clearly labeled. They'll click on classes. What would they expect to see? A current, neatly formatted list of what is offered: where, when, pricing—basic information at a glance.
Responsive website, a requirement
They would expect it to work on any device they use to access your site—their desktop computer, tablet, or tiny smart phone. This is known as a responsive website, one which responds to different devices, presenting content in a size and format appropriate to the screen (size, resolution) and features (mouse, touchscreen, geolocation) of each device. Having a responsive website is no longer optional.
A way to get updates in the future
Maybe your potential customer is not ready to sign up for a class today, but wants to keep current on future classes. A prominent email newsletter sign up form allows them to submit their email, click an opt-in link, and now they're on your mailing list. These things are not new or complicated, but it's surprising how many businesses lack them.
Are your customers not engaging with your business?
People aren't calling, they're not emailing, they're not signing up for classes. Maybe they can't find them, or maybe they came to your site once and nothing was on the schedule that looked good so they just left and forgot about it—people lead busy lives. If you don't give them an easy way to stay informed about what you offer, you may lose them.
If your business is doing poorly, ask yourself if you are marketing it well. If not, that's a big part of the problem. It may not be the only only one, but it's critical.