Do you have the resources you need to deliver your marketing plan?

What marketing resources do you need?

To grow your business, you need a marketing plan that is then effectively delivered. To do this you need marketing resources. For your small business marketing to be effective, you need a combination of:

  1. Knowledge
  2. Time
  3. Money

knowledge as a marketing resource

Knowledge

You are passionate about what you do. If you weren’t you probably would be doing something else right now. You can talk for hours about the minutiae of your business and I bet you could write a book of acronyms. However, knowing how to translate your knowledge into what your prospects want to hear is something different. Being sure you are using the right marketing tools, and using them in the best ways is another issue.

There’s nothing wrong with this. You cannot be expected to wear every single hat and know everything about everything. That is why large companies have their own dedicated marketing teams – to bring that knowledge into the business.

If your business is really young, and you haven’t got investment funding, you have little choice but to do most of it yourself, but you could us a part-time or virtual marketing director for just a few hours per month. They become a source of advice, guidance and support for a small investment.

Let’s demonstrate the issue with a few stats:

  • 49% of small business owners aren’t sure if their marketing is effective (Leadpages) and 14% know that they aren’t.
  • 67% of small businesses who use SEO as part of their marketing mix in-house and external resources (Statistica).

time is a valuable resource when marketing your businessTime

The old adage of “why work 40 hours a week for someone else when you can work 80 hours a week for yourself” shows just how much time is needed by a small business. You may be doing a full week simply delivering on your clients’ needs. Unless you have a Time Turner (you have seen the Harry Potter films, haven’t you?!), you cannot do two things at once. That means working more hours.

If you want any kind of work-life balance, you need to find the time needed for your marketing from somewhere else. There are three options here:

  • Employ someone, but do you have the funds available to pay them and the time available to manage them?
  • Outsource your marketing. You still need funds, but you can balance the funds and your time so that it works for your business.
  • Don’t do any marketing. This is the case for half of all small businesses, as they do less than two hours per week (Statistica).

money is a marketing resourceMoney

Time and money go hand in hand here. They also then impact on the knowledge. You may think that you haven’t got the money to pay to outsource your marketing. But if you don’t outsource, in order to get the knowledge and the time, you’ll not get the money.

This is where opportunity costs come into play.  If you outsource your marketing, can you earn more money, than it costs, in the time you save? Remember: 79% of small businesses buy they best they can afford, not the cheapest (CEB Globa). If your marketing shows just how good you are, your target audience will buy from you.

The other thing to consider when outsourcing your marketing is the investment you are making. Marketing is a medium to long term thing. You don’t get a return on investment the next day (unless you’re really lucky) so you have to be able to spend the money now in order to reap the rewards further down the line.

The balancing of time, money and knowledge is not easy. If you haven’t got the money, you can’t get the knowledge and the time needed to make you more money. However, you can start small. Test the waters, using some like us as a marketing support provider. They help you do the best job you can, helping move you to the point where you have the money to outsource the marketing so you can concentrate on doing what you love.

Give us a call if you want to discuss this in more detail. We hope this helps.

Why you must have a marketing plan

do you have a marketing planDo you have a Marketing Plan?

You know you need to do something to market your business. If you don’t your pipeline will quickly empty and the sales will dry up.

Now I can hear some people saying “we get all our business through referral, so we don’t need to do any marketing”. Two comments on this:

  1. Generating referrals is a type of marketing, as you manage the client accounts to keep the referrals flowing.
  2. Just think how much more you could grow the business if you did some other marketing!

There is one big reason why you must have a marketing plan:

If you don’t you won’t do it

Shall we start the “Oh yes I will” “Oh no you won’t” bit – or just skip it?

The reasons why a marketing plan makes you do your marketing

It’s a list

We’re British (or living in Britain and so adopting many local habits) so we love a list. Having a list is a competitive thing. We want to tick everything off the list, simply to say we’ve done it.  Nobody likes a partially completed list.

You’ve invested time

There’s little more galling than wasting time. As a business owner, you have very little of it spare. You don’t want to spend time developing a marketing plan and then not do what you planned to do.

You’ve invested Energy

Taking time out of working IN the business to work ON the business is doing something you may not do that often. It is different and so you’ve invested mental energy in developing a marketing plan that will engage your target audience and develop more leads. Let’s not waste that energy.

You’ve invested Money

That time has cost you money, either in opportunity costs or direct costs, such as overtime. You may have brought in a consultant (why was it not us?) to help you structure and challenge the plan.

Someone to report to

A way to really make sure you deliver on your marketing plan is to get someone to monitor it for you. Whether that is a fellow director, a non-exec director (if you have any) or a third-party, you don’t want to go to them and say you haven’t done what you agreed to do.

So the only question to answer now is: When are you going to write your marketing plan?

Why you have to focus your marketing

focus your marketing

Four key reasons to focus your marketing

There are many business owners out there who believe they can sell their product/service to anyone – sand to the Arabs and all that. I’ve no doubt they are very good sales people and could sell to anyone they sit in front of.  It doesn’t mean they should be trying to sell to anyone. I believe that you have to focus your marketing and let me explain my reasoning. Read more

Seven sets of numbers you need to watch to measure your marketing performance

Do you measure your marketing?

Small business marketing isn’t easy. You need to understand what is working and what isn’t. These are some of the most important numbers to measure your marketing with, and where to find them. Let’s work backwards from the most important one. Read more