There’s a reason that big businesses tend to have a large marketing department filled with top talent: they need it. To effectively create and deploy a marketing strategy that generates leads and converts customers is a monumental task. It’s no wonder, then, those small businesses face numerous challenges when it comes to marketing.
When you own a small business, you tend to wear many hats. As Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither is an effective marketing strategy. Whether you’re a company that sells business brokerage packages or a small, locally-owned pub, there are always a million things to do in the run of the day.
As you can’t make more time, you need to find a way to optimize the time you have.
Conduct a time audit and determine where your days go. Use time tracking to highlight any time wasters that stand out. Many entrepreneurs are shocked to find out just how much time they spend scrolling social media when they could be growing their business.
Once you’ve identified time wasters, work to eliminate them. Use productivity apps that keep you on track using the Pomodoro method. Use time blocking to set hours when you will check and respond to emails.
Identify tasks that could be automated or delegated. It can be challenging to hand over the reins on things, especially in a small business, but doing so is essential to find time for marketing. For marketing specific tasks, delegating your email marketing to a virtual assistant or using an automatic social media post scheduler can free up hours each day.
In a small business, the other resource that tends to be strongly lacking is money. When it comes to marketing, it’s a vicious cycle of needing to spend money to make money. However, if you bet on the wrong horse, you lose your investment.
Start by breaking down your business expenses and reallocating things to find 5-10% in the budget that can go toward marketing. It may not be much, but it’s a starting point.
Next, look at the affordable or free channels through which you can focus your marketing efforts. For example, creating an email marketing funnel or using social media to connect with your audience. Generally speaking, the platforms are free, and the tools to capitalize on these platforms are affordable.
With the percentage model, your marketing budget will grow as your revenue does and vice versa. While your budget may only be $5000 this year, using that budget could help it grow to $10,000 next year.
As previously mentioned, betting on the wrong horse can be detrimental to your small business marketing efforts. If you lack the expertise in marketing and choose to handle everything yourself, that counts as betting on the wrong horse.
There are a few ways that you can build the expertise you need to market your small business. First, you can invest in training and courses that teach you some of the basics to get you started. Alternatively, you can outsource to the experts. Finally, you can hire talent to join your internal team and focus on marketing efforts.
Generally speaking, outsourcing has the highest return on investment. It can also allow you to scale your spend, depending on your needs. It’s not time-efficient to learn all you need to know yourself, and hiring an employee comes with many hidden costs.
Many small businesses fall victim to shiny object syndrome. They know what needs to be done but get overwhelmed by the options or distracted by the next best thing. This causes progress to stall and marketing efforts to fail if they get launched at all.
Yes, your business might need a social media strategy, an online sales funnel, a lead magnet, and a weekly newsletter to reach the notoriety you seek. However, instead of trying to tackle all of those monumental tasks at once, set priorities and handle one at a time.
By improving your focus, the quality and completion of your marketing projects will improve. Work to build a social media audience. Once you find your rhythm, start creating an email flow. Once you have an email flow in place, look at ways to start list building. Build one habit on top of another until you have an empire in place.
Strategic planning will help you solve most of the marketing challenges you run into as a small business. Your strategic planning will help you identify your ideal customers and outline how your brand will best speak to them. It will give you objectives and key performance metrics to keep your team moving forward. A strategic plan will help you find the money and the time to perfect your marketing strategy.
The first step to overcoming your small business marketing challenges is awareness. Now that you know what problems you face, you can strategize ways to work around them. Make this your priority for 2020, and your business will start the new decade on a promising note.