If you find marketing your business to be a challenge, you are not alone. In fact, according to Entrepreneur.com, the top 3 challenges that businesses with less than 50 employees face are:
- Growing Revenue
- Increasing Profit
- Cash Flow
Do these reflect your challenges in your business? Well, guess what…
All of the top 3 small business challenges are related to marketing!
It is easy to see how this one relates to marketing. To grow revenue you need to do 1 of 2 things: increase the number of sales or increase your prices. Both require marketing to achieve.
To increase sales you need to bring in new customers or bring in existing customers more frequently.
To increase your prices you must position yourself (via marketing) so that the perceived value is still convincing enough for customers to pay the higher price.
The relationship between increasing profit and marketing may not be quite as obvious, but they can be directly related. There are only 2 ways to increase profits: cut costs or increase revenue.
One of the best ways to cut your costs and increase profit is to manage your marketing more effectively. It costs more to attract a new client that to re-engage an existing client. Reconnecting with existing clients to get repeat business is a great way to generate sales while keeping your marketing costs low.
How to increase your revenue stream and how it relates to marketing was discussed in the growing revenue section above.
A steady cash flow means you need a steady stream of income… which means sales… which come from your marketing efforts. That on is pretty clear cut.
Now, just for fun, let’s add one more (from my own experience)…
Having the time to get everything done has been an ever present challenge of mine, especially as a “solopreneur”. How about you? To make it even worse for me, my Myer’s-Briggs personality results show that I am vehemently against schedules and routines (possibly the worst of all 32 personalities types), but that is another story for another time.
Your marketing strategy (or lack thereof) is directly effecting your time, and here is how.
The “I’m learning how to market my business” rabbit hole
Without a plan of action for your marketing, you spend more time trying to figure what to do and how to do it. There is a good chance that when a “marketing guru” you subscribe to sends out their next shiny email with a catchy subject line, you will spend several minutes reading it hoping it has the answer you have been seeking. If you click on links in the email you have just fallen into a deeper rabbit hole of “research”.
With a plan (that you are committed to), you are not so eager to find out the latest “top secret marketing trick” because you already know what you have to do.
Voila! You have just created time out of thin air and are now officially a magician.
Your new found time and energy can now be applied to more productive activities.
Altogether, I can think of 5 time saving benefits of having a marketing plan:
- You spend less time in the “research” rabbit hole mentioned above.
- You spend less time on marketing activities, because you know what to do in advance.
- You will spend less time and energy convincing customers to purchase once they contact you (since your marketing is taking care of most of the heavy lifting for you).
- Your increase in leads and sales leads to less time worrying about your business when you “off”.
Note – If you are not taking time away from your business, you most definitely should. That has a whole string of benefits in and of itself.
- The increase in revenue from the increase in sales can allow you to invest in systems to free up even more of your time (such as call management systems or marketing automation).
I don’t know about you, but that all sounds like a pretty convincing for having a marketing plan of action (aka strategy). The only question left to ask is…
Okay, I see how having a marketing plan is critical, but now what!?
Chances are you have already spent time researching how to do this yourself without much progress. I am also a firm believer in mentorship and coaching. So, my advice is to find someone to help you. This could be:
- finding a trusted and supportive friend to hold you accountable to both the process of creating a plan and to the implementation of it
- hiring a business coach
- hiring a marketing consultant
Whichever option you choose, promise me you will commit to creating your marketing plan?
My Challenge for You
Start as soon as possible, which in my head means, within the next 24 hours. If it feels overwhelming, start by taking small actions… and I mean really small. Here are some examples of what I am talking about.
Just choose 1 of these:
- Create a blank document (Word, Google Doc or whatever word processing software you prefer) titled “My Marketing Strategy”
- Write down 1 topic you could write a blog post about.
- Write down 1 thing you could create as a lead magnet.
Note – when you are ready to actually create your lead magnet, be sure to get your copy of our free lead magnet checklist
- Spend 5 minutes looking for either business coaches or marketing consultants in your area.
If you just do 1 of these a day, I would be willing to bet that soon that scary, overwhelming feeling will subside. You will see how achieving your dream is actually within reach, and you will realize that this really isn’t that scary but rather exciting! Once you feel that momentum, go with it and take all of the actions towards creating your marketing plan that you feel inspired to do.
- Having a marketing plan that you are committed to may be the single most important thing you can do in your business.
- Work with someone to create your marketing plan/strategy.
- Do 1 thing within the next 24 hours towards creating your marketing plan.