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The Biggest Marketing Problems for Small Business

The biggest marketing problems for small business are time, money, and ability. These 3 marketing problems come up time and again during conversations with small business owners. Whether it’s the local Annie Sloan Chalk Paint distributor, the single franchise restaurateur, or the small software development shop, many small businesses share these three marketing problems. Here are a few examples of the challenges facing small business today.

  • I don’t have time for marketing my small business
  • I start on a marketing projects for my business, but can never find the time to finish it. I’m always pulled in so many directions.
  • I want to sell products online, but I can’t afford to invest in updating my website.
  • There is a great industry trade show that I attend each year, but I can’t afford to get a booth for my small business.
  • I’m trying to use Facebook to promote my business, but I’m not sure I’m doing it right.
  • I’d like to set up a CRM system like Salesforce, but I don’t know the first thing about transferring leads into Salesforce.

Do any of these sound familiar?  If so, let’s tackle these challenges together. In this article we will dig into these 3 problems facing small businesses and come up with solutions that you can consider for your business.

Problem #1: There’s No Time for Marketing My Small Business

For small business owners, it’s always been fast-faced.  Small Business owners wear many hats. That said, things seem to be speeding up over the past few years. It seems like tasks lists are growing. It’s a never-ending reactive mindset. Trying to take time to plan, to anticipate different needs of your business, is a luxury most don’t get to enjoy. When it comes to executing marketing campaigns, small business owners just can’t find the time.

  • Developing marketing plans take time
  • Executing social media marketing for your business takes time
  • Hosting contests and giveaways takes time
  • Creating the print collateral for your next big sale takes time
  • Capturing leads at trade shows take time

When there isn’t enough time in your day to stop and think, how will you ever make time for marketing your small business?

3 Ideas for Making More Time for Marketing Your Small Business

The biggest key to making more time for marketing is by prioritizing it among your day-to-day tasks. When something becomes a priority for you, even subconsciously, you will devote more of your time and energy towards it. Once you have decided that it’s time to make marketing your small business one of your top priorities, give one or more of these ideas a try:

  1. Start your day 30 minutes earlier than normal. Yes, that means waking up earlier. If you start your day 30 minutes earlier you can carve-out 30 minutes for marketing. Now, 30 minutes might not sound like a lot, but we are not playing the short game. We are in it for the long haul. Start stacking those 30 minute sessions, one on top of the next, and before you know it you’ll have accomplished more for marketing your business in a month than you completed in 3-4 months in the past.
  2. Integrate marketing activities into your day-to-day routine. You don’t have to find additional time for marketing your small business if you’re integrating marketing tasks into your day. For example, use a video camera or your phone to capture video throughout the day. Do you ever demo products to customers? Record it. Do customers ever share feedback with you? Record it. This is great video content that can be used for marketing your small business. All it takes is a little planning to get started. Oh, and be sure to have customers sign waivers if you want to use them in promotional video content.
  3. Hire a virtual assistant. Are you bogged down by a lot of administrative tasks? Could you benefit from an assistant, but don’t think you can afford one? Why not try a virtual assistant? You can hire a virtual assistant at a very reasonable rate and then your VA can take all of those administrative tasks off of your plate. This will free you up to make time for marketing your small business.

Problem #2: Small Budgets Inhibit My Ability to Market My Small Business

When it comes to marketing budgets for small business, some have them, some do not. For those small businesses who can afford to invest in marketing, budgets are usually tight.

  • Running ads in trade publications or the local paper costs money
  • Having a new company logo designed costs money
  • Renting booth space at an industry trade show costs money
  • Building a website costs money
  • Developing a mobile app costs money

Small budgets are definitely present marketing problems for small businesses, but that doesn’t mean you should totally write off being able to have success marketing your business. It definitely takes some creativity, but there are effective ways to marketing your small business with a small budget.

3 Budget-Friendly Marketing Ideas for Small Business

Marketing your small business on a budget is possible! Here are 3 budget-friendly marketing ideas to consider for your small business:

  1. Social Media Marketing – Social media marketing is an effective marketing strategy for small businesses when implemented properly. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Pick a social media channel that your target audience uses most frequently and really dig into using it for your business. Social media marketing is a free way to promote your small business.
  2. Event Marketing – Host an event at your small business OR if you’re a virtual company, host a virtual event for your business. Events bring you and your target customers together. Events provide small businesses with an opportunity to build relationships with customers. More than ever, today’s consumer wants to know who’s she’s buying from. Give your customers that opportunity. If you get creative, you can host an event for your business on a shoe string budget.
  3. Write an eBook – Creating valuable content about your products, services, company, etc. and getting that content into the hands of your target audience can be a highly effective, yet cheap way to market your small business. A great way to execute an eBook marketing campaign is to set up an optimized landing page on your website around the topic covered by your eBook. On that landing page you can have a lead capture form whereby your prospects can download your eBook in exchange for providing you with their contact information. This sort of lead capture strategy can be very effective when there is a valuable resource like an eBook being exchanged.

Problem #3: Can Someone Help Me with Marketing My Small Business?

For the majority of small business owners, you must be a jack of all trades. If something has to be done in, or for your business, when you look to your right and you look to your left you realize that nobody else is going to do it, so you do it. Just because you look to your left and look to your right only to find that you have to take on a task, doesn’t mean you’re an expert in completing that task.

  • Writing a marketing plan takes specific skills
  • Developing a website takes specific skills
  • Creating advertising copy takes specific skills
  • Email marketing takes specific skills
  • Hosting webinars takes specific skills

Marketing your business is both an art, and a science. It takes time to hone your skills. Not everyone is an intuitive marketer.  Unfortunately for you, and other small business owners, see the “There’s no time to market my small business” section above…

The trick is to find a formula that works for you to quickly determine if a task is worth outsourcing vs. doing it yourself.

3 Signs That You Should Outsource a Marketing Task

As a small business owner, one of the best traits you can exude is the ability to make decisions. When it comes to marketing your small business, deciding which marketing tasks to outsource vs. which tasks to do yourself is a huge key to success. Here are 3 signs that you should outsource a particular marketing task for your small business:

  1. Short lead time – Is there a quick turnaround needed for a particular marketing task? Are you already committed to other activities? If so, outsourcing could be the way to go.
  2. Specialized skills – Knowing your skill level as a marketer goes a long way towards making the right marketing outsourcing decisions. Know your role. If you can write, write. If you’re not creative, don’t try to design your next print ad. Stay in your swim lane.
  3. Requires interdisciplinary team – Although many hats look good on you, when a project is too big for one business owner, it’s best to outsource to a team capable of producing a quality deliverable on time and on budget.

Having success with marketing your small business can be accomplished. All small businesses face marketing challenges. The key is to realize that marketing your small business is important and to make it a priority. Once you make marketing a priority, you’ll begin to find solutions to your biggest marketing problems facing your small business.

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