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Monthly Business e-Tips Vol 2
Issue 3

This Little Piggy Has No Time for Marketing

The nursery rhyme you play on little ones' fingers and toes begins, "This little piggy goes to market and this little piggy stays home." In business, some owners do marketing and others stay home in their offices.

A major challenge for small business owners is finding time for marketing. When a business is small there is usually no one person dedicated to that function. Everyone wears several hats. Employees often share operational as well marketing/sales roles. In one-person operations, the owner is "it." Marketing is pushed to the back burner when the company gets busy servicing clients, negotiating prices with vendors and attending to financial or legal issues. It is not seen as a direct revenue source, so all resources - time, money and people - are focused elsewhere.

Ignoring marketing can be dangerous. How will you keep a consistent flow of business? How will people know what you do and where to find you? How will customers know when you have new products or services? How will you stay in business?

Marketing is important to:

  • Develop leads and keep the pipeline full of prospects.
  • Stay in touch with customers. Keep them updated and continually buying.
  • Maintain ties with prospects.
  • Expand into additional industries or market segments.
  • Communicate the value of your products/services and problems they solve. Be clear about how you compare with competitors.
  • Spread the word about the good things your customers are saying about you.

So with all there is to running a business, how can you get the most bang for the time and money invested. Marketing doesn't have to be expensive and extremely time-consuming. Take shortcuts.

Here are some hints for making marketing quick and smart:

  • Keep your marketing simple and don't try to do it all at once. Have a written plan.
  • Set aside time for your client called "marketing" and make sure you attend to that client as you would any other.
  • Piggyback on others' marketing initiatives: Advertise in another business's newsletters; link to partners' Web sites; design a joint promotion with associates.
  • Pitch a story to your local newspaper about your business and its connection with your community.
  • Get out and network, meet potential customers and referral sources. Connect with them in a relaxing pressure-free environment.

Jay Conrad Levinson has written a variety of books on guerrilla marketing. His suggestions are simple, inexpensive and often unconventional ways to get the word out. Think out-of-the-box and make it fun! Whatever you do, take some time to do marketing; it is a critical part of your business. It is a necessary element of a successful business and key if you want to grow. So be like the last little piggy that runs wee wee wee all the way to bank.

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