Friday, April 8, 2016

What do small business owners struggle with: Marketing

Many small business owners think marketing means advertising, but it really encompasses so much more.  Marketing determines how a business will promote, price, package and distribute its products or services.  Advertising is the media used to promote a product, service or event.

Taking the time to create a marketing plan before a business is launched is vital to the success of a start-up.  Keeping the plan up-to-date is just as important.  Many entrepreneurs try to save money when launching their business and try to create the marketing plan themselves. an expert is suggested but make sure to take the time to find the right marketing expert for your business.  Ask lots of questions and get a firm quote.  Developing a comprehensive brand at the outset is worth the money and can make a real difference in the success of the start-up.  

Once the marketing plan is set, the business owner may be able to execute the plan themselves.  Having the expert review the results with the business owner once a year is a good idea and allows for the refining and updating of the plan based on the results of the previous period.  

There is a great deal of advertising that can be done at a low price.  Facebook and LinkedIn ads can be targeted to a region or demographic and you can set budgets to keep the costs under control.  A marketing expert can help the business owner determine what their target audience is and what the best way is to reach them.  Many companies don't need to advertise on the radio or television or with a billboard, which are all costly.  They may been necessary, but it is important to make sure before the money is spent.  Having an outside party, like a marketing expert, give advise versus the sales rep. for the television or radio station will prevent the business from spending money on ads which don't reach their audience or are more costly than they need.

A small business can have the greatest product or service out there, but if buyers aren't aware of the company, it can't sell to them.  Unless the entrepreneur has a good background in marketing, it is a good idea to let an expert get you started right. 


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