And why the answer to that question could be holding back your small business marketing.
Let’s just get it out in the open. People who start small businesses tend to have certain characteristics:
We don’t really want to work for anyone else, except for our clients;
We are demanding of ourselves;
We can be resistant to input, and;
When we started out, we had a vision of what we wanted to accomplish.
(Of course there are more characteristics, but I am going somewhere with this.)
In his book, The Synergist, Les McKewon talks about how people in companies tend to have naturally occurring styles. Some people are visionaries (they think big, have big ideas, take risks); some are operators (they like to get stuff done), and some are processors (they like systems and processes and don’t take risks.)
Now, ask yourself which of these descriptions describes you. Left to my own devices with my own business, I can have the tendency to be an operator or processor. (When it comes to my clients, I am more of a visionary and a processor.) Why do I tend toward being an operator?
I tend to be an operator because many small business owners end up on the operator side of the house. They enjoy getting stuff done, particularly because they are good or great at what they do and it makes them feel good to accomplish these kinds of jobs.
Believe me, I love putting together marketing plans for clients and helping implement them. That’s what they pay me for. I realize, though, that in order for me to grow my small business marketing company, I have to spend time on the processor side of the equation so I can have the systems in place to take care of thousands of clients with the care I can give them now.
This isn’t always easy because I like creating and doing for my clients!
Now, the problem with that is that I have to, like all business owners, ensure that there is a flow of new clients coming into my business for it to grow in the future. (This doesn’t mean I ignore existing clients because they ALWAYS COME FIRST.) This problem requires me to continually develop better ways to market my business.
I wouldn’t make marketing a priority in my business if I just wanted to take care of the clients I had and didn’t want to grow my business. The operator or processor in me would love that!
Now, think about your own business. Have you noticed that you aren’t achieving your marketing goals or don’t even have marketing goals because you are too busy enjoying being an operator or processor?
If the answer to that question is yes, then you need to do one of two things: devote 2-4 hours a week to thinking about better ways for you to do marketing for your small business (How much is your time worth? Let’s say it is $75 an hour. So, you need to spend between $150 and $300 a week, $600-$1,200 a month in labor to market your business) or call someone else who is probably a bit more experienced at it than you and can get the job done for you in much less time and for much less money when compared to you trying to do it. (For example, should I have tried to replace a slave cylinder in an old Corvette I just bought, though I don’t have any experience with it, or should I have just paid a talented auto repair place like Inmon Automotive in Merritt Island? I chose the latter.)
It does not matter what option you choose, but you do have to choose if you want your small business to grow.
If you know a small business owner who is interested in a FREE, No-Obligation, consultation with me, go to calendly.com/bradswezey. Or call me at 321-613-8476.
Brad is a seasoned public relations and marketing pro with more than 20 years of experience both inside and outside of government dealing at the national and international level. In addition to his work as a marketing consultant for small businesses, he writes a monthly column on marketing for Florida Today on small business marketing.
He graduated with Academic Honors from the United States Air Force Academy and attended Georgetown University Law Center. He has a Master of Science degree from Air University. He was an officer in the United States Air Force and completed all professional schools, to include the Air War College.
Some of the media outlets he has worked with include the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe. NBC News, Fox News, ABC, CBS, CNN, the BBC. AFP, UPI, AP, to name a few.