Every successful business owner knows that starting or running your small local business isn’t easy. Every day brings new challenges, from sales and marketing to accounting and customer service; it’s hard to stay on top of your game when you’re juggling so many things. However, we have found one common thread that sets successful entrepreneurs and businesses apart: marketing consistency.
We often hear the comparison of marketing to dieting and we couldn’t agree more. If you want results you need to need to work hard and more importantly you have to find the right balance which allows you to stick to a process.
For small business marketing success, finding the right pace is extremely important. The amount of time you spend marketing each day is less important that the commitment to marketing consistently.
Many times we see people who want immediate results and try to get them by going to extremes by doing a lot of marketing in a single day or week: start a Google AdWords campaign, send out five marketing emails to their list, post to social media, run a coupon deal, etc. This usually has disastrous results: people over-commit, overwork themselves, and are dissatisfied because they don’t see the short term results they expected. Eventually they give up and go back to their old habits, with lots of frustration and a struggling business.
Other times, people only remember to work on their marketing when things are slow. It seems natural to focus on your marketing at these times, since you need to increase the number of customers, however once business picks up you get busy and forget about your marketing. This results in an eventual slow down in business which generates a vicious cycle that prevents a small business from growing effectively.
So, what’s the best way to grow your small business consistently? We suggest stepping back and coming up with a marketing routine that makes sense for your small business, based on your constraints and available resources; and then sticking to it:
- Be realistic and evaluate how much time and money you can put into your business’ marketing. Remember, this will all be an investment in your business, it’s a long term commitment that will generate results that compound over time. The most important thing is to determine the right cadence for you and commit to something you can stick with.
- Define your long-term goals and your short-term goals.
- Write down the list of things you can commit to in order to achieve these goals. This will become the foundation for your marketing plan and can include things like posting to your blog every other day and spending one hour per day on Facebook and Twitter. If you don’t have as much time, maybe you can commit to spending a given budget on Google AdWords to generate new leads for your business. In any case, every small business is different and it is important that you set yourself up for success by committing to a plan that makes sense for you.
- Every day, determine the top three tasks that will get you closer to your goals, and execute them.
- Repeat this marketing process and keep making progress toward your larger goals.
We want all small business owners to thrive and we believe consistency is the key to achieving this. This article sums up the way we recommend small businesses tackle marketing at a high level. Thinking through these five steps will help you determine the right things to focus on and it will help you find a pace that’s right for you. By setting up goals and a plan that maps to your reality, you will be able to consistently execute on your marketing, get more customers and grow your business.
And remember: Stick to it!