Great marketing is what allows someone to sell a 50-cent cup of coffee for $5.00 and have people lined up around the corner to buy it. On the other hand, poor marketing efforts can stall the growth of your business even if you have the best product or service around.

Here are four common business marketing mistakes:

1. Not Having a Plan

Sounds simple, but the truth is that many small business owners fail to spend the proper amount of time developing a plan for marketing their product or service.

At the same time that you are perfecting your product or setting up the other aspects of your business, you should also be spending a good chunk of time figuring out how to find customers.

Figure out who is going to be interested in your product, and then decide how you are going to reach those customers.

2. Advertising in the Wrong Markets

If you are opening a tattoo shop it wouldn't make much sense to advertise in a children's magazine.

While that is a rather extreme example, the fact is that many businesses make very costly mistakes when it comes to where they spend their advertising dollars. You've got to know who your potential customers are so that you can develop a plan about how to reach them.

You should not decide how and where to advertise based solely on cost.

3. Not Going First Class - Where it Counts

There was a business owner who was getting ready to launch his product after months of development. He had rented beautiful, class-A office space and furnished it with the best that money could buy.

But when it came to advertising packets to send to potential customers, he suddenly became stingy. Instead of spending the money to have the materials professionally printed, he printed everything on his office printer.

He designed (and the term is used loosely) his own logo instead of shelling out a few hundred dollars for a professional one. In his particular business, customers would not be visiting those beautiful office spaces.

Obviously, he made some serious business marketing mistakes about how to spend his money. When it comes to anything that the customer is going to see, you've got to go first class.

It would have been much better for him to have gone all out with his marketing materials while renting a smaller, less luxurious office filled with used furniture.

4. Writing Your Marketing Materials Yourself

Another trouble spot for some is business writing. Not everyone is a gifted writer. If you know that writing isn't your strong suit then it will be worth the money to hire a freelance writer to help you develop your marketing materials.

Also, if you're prone to grammatical errors, find someone who can proofread your work BEFORE any customer sees it.

Avoiding these common business marketing mistakes will bring you one step closer to growing your small business into the most successful venture possible.