Not surprisingly, most small company owners focus on website design, brochure printing, and other items out of their control regarding their small business marketing efforts.

However, just because you aren’t directly responsible for your selling product doesn’t mean it isn’t affecting your sales efforts. Consider these four hidden factors that have been shown to have an impact on small business marketing efforts, and we promise you’ll see a significant difference in the results your business provides year after year.

1. Your pricing structure: Many business owners set their prices too high, hoping to get some sales out of the venture. The problem is high prices are often seen as “junk” by prospects, and they won’t even consider buying from you.

2. Your product: Many small business owners choose things outside of their skillset and experience in the hopes of making a sale. The issue is that they buy a product that they don’t like and hence fall into the “junk” category.

3. Your marketing: Many business owners think the best way to market their company is through long-winded, flowery mailings and email blasts. Nope! Just don’t work! Long and simple, simple and dirty. In the best of circumstances, direct mail works just fine as an additional marketing tool.

4. Your business card: Many business owners choose just plain ugly cards, just plain boring, and it has failed to make much of an impact. This may be due to fear of looking unprofessional or being a matter of them not being good designers. Who knows? The bottom line is simple: don’t make your business card ugly. Buy a business card that makes a good first impression, and carry a business card with you all the time, because it is your business card.

I believe you get my point. Many small businesses fail because their marketing strategies are ineffective. Let’s take a step back and double-check that we’re on the same page.

So, here’s a new list of marketing strategies I’d like to offer to you:

1. Get your name out there: You’ve done it once. You spent time, money, and energy to open your business. You know it’s working. Make sure it’s working every single day. Every time you walk out the door, ask yourself, “Is this working?” If it is, keep doing it. If it isn’t, stop. Do something else.

2. Make sure you are doing it in the right places: Find the best suppliers you can, and let them help you. Ask your friends, family, and “random people you meet” if they’ve got any great places you can showcase your business. It’s great to put your business cards in people’s hands, but it’s even better to put your business cards in the hands of people who want to hear from you. Ask them for their thoughts and feedback on your business. This is a really big deal. Ask them to tell you why your business is awesome and why your product or service is the best.

3. Make sure it’s always working for you: You’ve done it. You’ve invested all this time, money, and energy. Your name is out there, and people are writing about it. Now, it’s time to prove your work.

4. Keep asking: You’ve done it once. Now, it’s time to prove that this strategy works. You’re working hard, you see amazing results, you’re doing well, but keep asking yourself, “Is this working?” Ask your supplier to show you how they’re fulfilling your orders, or ask your friendly grocer or dry cleaner to show you how you’re purchasing your product or service. Ask your grocer or dry cleaner why you’re getting the price you’re getting, or ask your friendly grocer or dry cleaner why their prices are so high. These are all areas you can track. Do this, and I promise you’ll continue to see great results. It’s not what you think; it’s not what you’ve done. Keep asking, keep proving. You’ll continue to see results. At some point, you’ll stop seeing results as amazing. You’ll wonder what happened. That’s okay. It can be confusing and discouraging. But believe me, the work will stop. Your mind will start to work more like your business, with results that can be truly amazing.

You’re going to be surprised at how quickly things will start to settle in. You’ll realize you’ve been investing all your time in something that was working because it was working. Now, you’re going to start to see results. Your supplier will begin to make changes to continue serving you and your business more sustainably.

Keep asking questions. Continue to show that you know what you’re doing and that you’re achieving great results. These are vital to your success, regardless of your current situation. By the way, this is excellent news! This means you’re about to get excited about your business.