The challenges of running a small business can be daunting to many. Those of us who decide to venture out on our own and become our own boss welcome these challenges with open arms.
You’re not scared of the unknown. You’re go-getters, trend-setters, and above all, entrepreneurs. You want to make a difference in the world with your products or services. You keep your local and global economies humming and that is worthy of applause!
If you consider yourself to be a small business owner or an entrepreneur, you’ve probably used to the old idiom, “if you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself.”
We know that one well and hear it time and time again. If we can do something ourselves to save a couple bucks, then we’ll probably do it. You’re full of confidence, initiative, and motivation, but when it comes to marketing, doing it yourself (and doing it well) can be next to impossible.
Here’s three reasons why do-it-yourself marketing doesn’t work for small businesses and entrepreneurs:
1. You can’t find the time
Anyone who runs their own business knows how hard it is to keep up with the day to day tasks. When you’re the only person running the business, you have the responsibilities of being the CEO, CMO, HR, Accounting, Support Representative, and Webmaster. It’s not just a 9 to 5 job. It takes many more hours.
These job responsibilities can wreak havoc on your personal life as well. When you spend all your time working it’s hard to find time for your friends and family. We all need that time to decompress and live healthy lives.
This means that if you’re going to do any marketing at all, it had better be easy, quick, and effective. Otherwise it’s a crapshoot and potentially a waste.
2. You can’t properly build your audience
If you own and operate a small business, then you have an audience. You need to continue building your audience to continue growing your business and generate more revenue and income. To do that, you have to spend time on marketing.
The best way to build your audience online is with targeted content for each stage of the buyer journey. That content began with blogs, email marketing, social media, now add video, podcasts, white papers, eBooks and case studies. This speaks to #1 in that it takes much-needed time. And with the resurgence of traditional advertising; direct mail, events, radio, out-of-home and sponsorships, it's getting more complicated.
So what do you do?
You have to work with someone else (usually a marketing professional or agency) or use some type of marketing tool or automation. (don't let the name 'automation' fool you...a human has to put the information into the automated platform, it doesn't just 'do it' for you.)
Effective audience building can mean the difference between a prosperous, growing business and one that fizzles out into oblivion. That leads me to my next point.
3. You can’t sustain it
How many small businesses do you see that are killing it and with only a handful of employees? There might be one or two you know out there. They’re probably older businesses with well-established, loyal customer bases.
Owning a business is great but you should always have your head in the clouds when it comes to your goals. You shouldn’t aim to stay small forever. You want to be scalable. When you grow your business, everyone benefits. You create jobs and make a difference in your community.
Doing marketing yourself can work for a short time, but you simply cannot keep it up by yourself and expect to grow your business, or even tread water for that matter.
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