Under invest in small business marketing at your peril

Marketing a business is not free and should never be attempted on a shoestring. There seems to be a worrying trend, particularly in a currently harsh economic climate, for self acclaimed gurus and assorted marketing pundits to constantly tell small businesses just how much they can do for free. It is a grave concern to think that small businesses are being actively discouraged from investing in their businesses to the maximum possible extent.

That’s right if you want your business to grow you better wake up and smell the coffee about marketing investment. Very few small businesses make anything like the investment they need to do to grow. Of course there are some very valid reasons for this, including:

  • Lack of cash
  • Lack of resource
  • Lack of expertise
  • Confusion in the marketplace from suppliers that claim to deliver marketing solutions
  • Fear of losing/wasting money
  • Lack of time to really understand what needs to be done

When businesses have neither the time nor the expertise to buy a product that is at times intangible, technical and missold by everyone from designers to printers to business consultants the result can be inaction, no growth and continuing the rollercoaster ride of small business existence.

The solution to these problems is not to try and do things on a shoestring. That’s not say you should throw cash willy nilly at anything that seems like marketing but you must try to explore the market and understand the work that needs to be done before investing a managable amount consistently each month.

The start point should be a knowledgeable resource who can give you an outline of a marketing plan and some idea of the costs involved. I would strongly recommend you start with a business that sells itself as a marketing agency. Any marketing agency that won’t give you such a plan and a clear idea of costs for free is probably not geared to dealing with small business so may be too expensive. However it is far more logical, cost and time effective to find a business that look after all your marketing needs than potentially end up with five or six suppliers to manage who all have vested interested in seling a single product which is itself outside your area of expertise.

Let the “shoestring marketers” sell their books and blogs to other people while you get on and grow your business with an agency that understands all aspects of the marketing mix and provides a single point of management control for you.

Am I biased? Yes. I’ve run a marketing agency for 15 years and seen countless businesses struggle with this issue. If you run a business and would like to discuss your marketing strategy please do contact us on 01293 40600.


After working within the hospitality sector in various management roles, Laurence completed his degree in Business Marketing and Management at the University of Kent. Laurence has gone on to develop a successful career in Marketing. Google+

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