How to Overcome the Small Business Owner's Fear of Marketing
Small business owner, Can you relate to any of the following thoughts?:
- No Marketing please - I already have more work than I could handle.
- I don't have time for marketing.
- Marketing is too expensive for a small business like mine.
- If my product/service is good enough, it will "do the talking for me".
- I don't like showing off.
I completely understand. The term Marketing is associated with high-cost ads, a show-off attitude and an unnecessary activity for an already functioning business.
And it's true, at times an outstanding product is enough to keep a business going, however, without Marketing, the risk of losing your business at harder times is higher (for example, when a new competitor enters the market, when your clients' needs change or when a recession hits).
But Marketing doesn't need to be expensive, overly time consuming or extravagant in nature. A well thought-through marketing strategy is a process of self-learning where a business owner can get insights not only about their business but also about themselves. When done correctly, it is an empowering process both for the business and for the business owner.
Therefore, today I would like to approach some of these common fears:
I already have more work than I can handle, I don't need more
- When you are busy and everything is going well, it is hard to think of times when you will not have work. But the truth is that circumstances change. By investing, even a little time, in Marketing during busy periods, you are more likely to avoid periods of time when projects will NOT come in. Marketing will ensure you keep being busy.
- It may make more sense for you to wait and invest time in marketing during periods when you have no work. But Marketing takes time to take effect. So if you only start working on your marketing activities when you are out of work, it may be too late. If you wait to react when you have no work, you are putting yourself at risk, and not less important, you are almost ensuring that when the time comes you will be under a lot of stress.
I don't have time for marketing:
You are right! Even if you hire a marketing agency to help you with your marketing activities, you, as the business owner, would have to invest some time in the Marketing process.
- Even an hour a week would help you progress in your marketing process. It may be a slower process but often consistency is more valuable than quantity when it comes to Marketing. I advise you choose one or two Marketing activities that are the least time consuming and the most value generating FOR YOUR COMPANY and stick to them.
- One of the most time-consuming tasks for a small business owner is finding the right employees. If you invest some time in marketing today, you are likely to find it easier to attract the right employees with less effort. Having the right people in your team will eventually result in less work overload for you. Marketing can help you easily find employees and essentially help you reduce your work overload.
Marketing is too expensive for a Small Business like mine:
- A TV ad on Superbowl night is expensive, but sending an email update to your customers every now and then is almost free and can go a long way. There are so many creative marketing activities which are affordable and effective, especially for self-employed or small businesses (Google ads, flyers, business cards, blog writing, just to name a few). You determine your yearly marketing budget, which can be as little as a couple hundred dollars.
If my product/service is good enough it will "do the talking for me"
- There is no doubt, without a good product there is no business, or at least not a sustainable one. But a business can't go on without some level of marketing involved.
If you have a great product which sells, you must be involved in some sort of marketing activities even without being aware of it. You probably discussed your business with someone (your family/ friends) to expose your product. You may have given a sample for free. Whatever it was that you were doing, you must have been talking to the right people in the right way to make you start selling. This is essentially Marketing.
I don't like showing off
- Marketing is not about showing off. Marketing is about understanding your strengths and understanding your customers. You must believe your product or service is helpful for someone in this world, otherwise you wouldn't have put your effort into it. Marketing is not about telling everyone how good you are, it is about making those who can benefit from your product or service be aware of the fact that it exists.