Marketing is Not Small Business’ Biggest Challenge
I have noticed one thing that many Facebook entrepreneur groups have in common. In almost all the groups, the common theme is people saying that their biggest challenge is “marketing”. I hear and believe them, but I’m also going to say without hesitation that their belief is a bit misguided, inaccurate and incomplete.
A more accurate assessment would be, the biggest problem is not wanting to SPEND on marketing. They are looking for free and low cost ways to blow up their business.
A good way to explain this disconnect is the gold mining experience. First, everybody who headed to the hills (and to the Internet) expects to get rich. Secondly, and more important, not everyone does get rich or even makes money. However, it’s easy to predict who will and who probably won’t.
Let me explain not only why that is the case; but also, how to increase your chances of success.
The person who strikes out on his own with the tools he had in the shed is not fully convinced that he will find gold, so the odds are they will not find gold. After all, they don’t know where to look except for where someone told them to look (does the word “blog” sound familiar) or a they try to make a good guess based on where they see other miners. They minimize their investment because they don’t believe it will work (side note: look at it as spending and not an investment) and they hope their small effort will catch fire and reach success anyway. The problem is, they are leaving much of the gold finding mission to chance when it is really a hunt that favors the experts. How can they expect to outperform a team of highly trained and fully geared miners? Yes, they could get lucky or just make their little share; but no one should invest business money on “getting lucky”. Luck is the same as running an Google Ads campaign with $100 or banking on flyers to boost your business! In the cruel world of marketing, you not only get what you pay for; you are often just throwing money out the window for something worth nothing.
In order to get the most out of a mining expedition, you need to pack like you mean it. You get the best tools, the best information and maps of where the highest probability of gold lies, and the best team to work with. Sure, you may have to share the profits; but your success rate is going to be substantially higher and you will make more overall. If you really believe there is gold (or buyers for your product or service), you will invest in the trip, knowing that the return will more than cover the expenses.
Many people think of marketing as an ATM much like our ancestors thought of the West as an untapped gold mine. Unlike an ATM though, the Internet is not a box of money. It is a place that connects you to people with money if you know where to properly find them, be there when they look, convince them that you have what they want, then deliver on that promise as seamlessly as possible.
Don’t be short-sighted – be smart. Sadly, spending too little on marketing can be even more risky than spending a more because it takes a certain amount to be competitive. Can you really afford to let your success rely on flyers in a coffee shop just because it as relatively free?
You have to decide what your goal is, then plan your marketing attack accordingly; preferably with some trusted expert assistance or advice to help properly gauge what it will take to find that gold. The task is daunting but you don’t have to rely on chance. It’s 2019 and real expert resources are waiting.