General Business Strategy
As a SME business owner, or CEO, you have to be driven, determined and great at what you do, and no doubt you’ll end up doing a bit of everything else too! But eventually, you’ll have to face up to the fact that you can’t do everything, and trying to do so is actually detrimental to the business.
Now we’re not business coaches, and we’re not going to advise on your entire operation, but we do run a small business ourselves, so we know what it’s like to sit at the top – and it can be a pretty lonely place.
There’s also the permanent responsibility of having to feed the top of the sales funnel, to keep the revenue coming in and cover the wages of all your employees. Every. Single. Month.
All part of the balancing act it takes to run an SME, of course, and truth be told it’s also what makes it so energising, rewarding and fun.
So What Has This Got To Do With Small Business Marketing And Mindset…?
Well, small business marketing is one of the functions that business owners often take on themselves. Outsourcing it can be expensive, and sometimes not that effective so when money is tight and the business is finding its feet, fair enough.
The problem is, however, while anyone and everyone can ‘do marketing’ (Google and Facebook have an interest in telling you how easy it is to buy ads on their platforms, remember!), doing it well is extremely hard. It requires applied knowledge not to mention years of practice and experience.
So, you may end up wondering if your DIY marketing, is any good…?
- Are you getting the results you’d hoped for?
- When you look at your competitors, do you feel as if they’re doing a better job?
- Do you have a nagging feeling that your marketing efforts don’t quite reflect the reality of your product or service?
- Do you know for sure if your marketing is money well spent?
If any of those questions strike a chord, then rest assured you’re not alone. We see, and hear it time and again. In fact, it’s often the very skills that have gotten you this far in your business – that self-determination and drive – that are now holding you back.
There comes a time when you have to let go, if you want your business to grow.
Another thing we’ve noted is that business owners often forget to place a value on their own time. So while you’re saving some money doing your own small business marketing (perhaps not as well as it deserves to be done) what else in your business is suffering because you’re not attending to it…?
Now finally, and we’d argue, most importantly, if you’re spending time pouring your efforts into something that should be working, but doesn’t really seem to be, it can actually be pretty demoralising.
And that can have an effect on everything else you do in your business, and everyone you work with. A small business thrives on energy, enthusiasm and human potential, and it all comes from you. If you’re having a bad day everyone knows about it.
That goes for the rest of your life too. At home, with friends and loved ones. In any sports you happen to be doing. A few bad days you can handle, but when they mount up into weeks or months, this negative influence on your mindset can start causing a few problems.
Now you may, or may not recognise any of this, but if you want your business to grow, and we’re pretty sure you do, then you’ll recognise the benefits of using specialists, experts and people with a few miles on the clock when you want something done professionally.
So forgive us for, maybe, sounding like ‘business coaches’ again, but eventually there has to come a time, when you need to get out of your own way. When a number of tasks need to be delegated to someone else in the business, or outsourced to a professional, so you can focus on where you make the biggest impact.
And if that’s marketing, you probably wouldn’t be reading this right now.
Small Business Marketing, And Changing Your Mindset…
If it helps at all, one of the things we’ve discovered over the years that makes a difference to our clients, is to change your perspective on small business marketing. To view it as a profit centre, as opposed to a cost centre. Now, granted, that’s difficult to do when the figures tell another story, but changing your thinking in that way, helps open the door to another approach.
You know that marketing should be paying for itself. Nobody would do it otherwise. You’re not looking for ‘likes’ to feel good about yourself. You’re doing it to get money in the bank.
And if that’s not happening right now, perhaps a change is in order.
So is it time…?
Have you had enough yet…?
Do you want to suffer a bit longer…?
Or, Perhaps, You Need A Few Small Business Marketing Options.
If you’re closing in on a decision to finally delegate your small business marketing to someone else, then congratulations – it’s the right move, now here’s how you can do it.
1. Hire A Marketing Person
There are lots of keen young marketers out there who can run a few social ads, but you need the right kind of seniority to support you in driving the business at an executive level. This means somebody who thinks strategically. If you can afford such a person, go for it, aim high, and you’ll do well. However, for many SMEs this is out of your price range leaving two alternatives….
2. Hire An Agency
Of course there are many small business marketing agencies out there, but two common problems arise. First, they need strategic direction and active management… and that falls back on you again. If they don’t get it, they’ll tend to cruise along without the proper level of accountability. Second, as you may have already found, they tend to have a focus on a particular type of marketing activity, be in SEO, SEM or social, but don’t have the big picture strategy to pull it all together, and you may find yourself needing to manage a number of them..
3. Hire A Hybrid
This is where you hire a senior strategic marketer to work inside your business part-time (and therefore affordably), with the support of a fully functioning agency behind them. And as far as we’re aware, Inside Outhouse is the only place you can find that.
We developed this model after decades of working with SMEs, and it’s proving to be an efficient, highly effective way to access big business quality in small business marketing, on small business budgets.
And if you go down this route, we can virtually guarantee that it won’t be long before you change your mindset, shed the emotional cost of not running your marketing properly, and recognise marketing as the profit centre it truly can, and should be.
At that point, congratulations, you have a real marketing department!
Best of luck in the meantime, and if you’d like to have a chat, please just give us a call.