I’ve talked to a lot of small business owners over the years and I’ve heard a lot of excuses as to why they don’t advertise, promote, or otherwise market their businesses. I want to share the top three excuses I hear and try to defuse them.
1. “I don’t have the budget” I know times are tough; we’re all feeling it. But that’s no excuse for neglecting the long-term health of your company. Take a realistic look at your finances, surely you can find $10 or $20 each week to sock away. No? Then brown bag it once or twice a week instead of eating out. Or skip that double low fat decaf frap a couple of times a week. Every little bit helps and if you can find $20 each week, in three months you’ll have $240. Think that’s peanuts? Think again – that $240 will buy you a direct mail postcard campaign to about 200 people AND about 1000 emails. Now you are communicating with your best prospects and customers quarterly, and all you gave up was one lunch and two trips to Starbucks.
2. “It’s too expensive” There are so many free and almost free ways to promote your business that this excuse just doesn’t cut it anymore. I have three words– HARNESS THE INTERNET. I’m sure you are aware of Twitter, Facebook , LinkedIn, MerchantCircle and Google? Well, you can use any or all of these to promote your business – absolutely FREE. I know what you’re thinking, “if it’s free it has to suck, right?” Wrong! Check this out – in less than two months I have accumulated over 170 Twitter followers; in less than one month, I’ve gotten over 40 Facebook fans, over 20 hits on my MerchantCircle profile and a call from a perspective client (proposal went out yesterday, keeping fingers crossed!). What does all this mean? That means for a little ole company like mine, in little ole Fairfield, California, over 230 people and small businesses who never heard of me two months ago, now know about me. How can that be bad?
3. “I don’t have time” I get it, you have a lot going on; customers to tend to, phones to answer, bills to pay – I get it. But one question always comes to mind: Is this really what you envisioned when you started your business? Seriously – wouldn’t it be nice to pay someone else to do all that? My guess is your answer would be a very tired “yes.” Then you need to find the time. Isn’t your business worth investing in? Just like budgeting your money, you need to find a way to budget your time. Find two hours a week to devote to growing your business and before you know it you’ll be able to hire that extra help you need.
My point is this: Marketing is doable for small businesses – the tactics aren’t as time consuming or expensive as you think they are. But remember, none if this is going to be as effective or efficient without a strategy to drive the tactics. Planning is still the key to small business success.
Carolyn Higgins is the President and founder of Fortune Marketing Company. Her personal mission is to help small businesses stop wasting money on advertising and promotions that don’t deliver and help you implement an effective marketing system that will bring you more customers – consistently.
For more information about Carolyn Higgins and Fortune Marketing Company please visit http://www.FortuneMarketingCompany.com. Email email@example.com or call us at 707.631.6340.