As a business grows, so does the workload and you will often find yourself juggling several balls and doing the work that is usually managed by different departments or specialists. For small businesses, the onus is often on the business owner to not only provide direction and a business strategy but to manage payroll and business finances, take care of logistics and admin tasks, hire new employees, manage stock and liaise with suppliers as well as a host of other tasks. That is a lot to take on and we haven’t even gotten to marketing your business. This is something that often falls by the wayside – not only because of time but because this isn’t necessarily your area of expertise.
But here’s the problem when marketing your business isn’t a priority, especially when you want to grow your business: you will struggle to build brand awareness and generating sales will taper off eventually. While marketing is a necessity for your business, finding the time to develop key marketing strategies and run campaigns can be difficult, especially when you already have your hands full with the day-to-day running of the business. If you can’t market your business yourself because of time constraints, then other options are available, like outsourcing services or hiring staff internally.
- Hire someone with a marketing background and the necessary experience
Marketing skills are one thing, understanding your business and industry sector is another. If you’re thinking of making a marketing hire, ensure that they understand your business and customer needs. Being able to apply their skills to your business and show how they can add value will give you a better understanding of whether they meet your business needs. The benefit of an internal hire is that they also grow with your business and will be able to continue providing key insights into how best to reach your prospects and convert them into customers. Another benefit is that as your business pivots and grows they can make changes to the marketing strategy as and when needed. Working with outsourced agencies or freelancers doesn’t always offer this luxury and any immediate updates or quick changes that need to be made aren’t always possible and can slow things down.
- Outsource this function to a marketing agency
That said, your business might find an agency relationship beneficial as it frees you up to run the business and leave the marketing to trusted experts. That is if you can find an agency that is worth its salt. The advantages of a niche marketing agency are that they cater for specific industry needs. This will be particularly beneficial for small businesses as they tend to have niche product or service categories. For example, a company that specialises in broad advertising for a massive franchise like Nandos may not be able to tailor a marketing strategy fit for a small family-owned restaurant. It may also be a good idea to test their knowledge of your industry to find out how much they really know.
Furthermore, take a quick look at their website and online presence to give you an idea of how they brand their own business. These can give you an indication that they understand how to successfully market a brand for their own products or services. Over and above this try and source some client reviews or referrals to see what other clients are saying about their services.
- Run and plan your own marketing campaigns
If an internal or external hire isn’t something that you can invest in right now it doesn’t mean there is nothing you can do. Running some basic marketing campaigns on Facebook, if that’s where your audience is, or AdWords throughout the year can help you promote your business. Ensuring that you have a business website can help give you visibility online and help you direct your clients to further information about your services or product offerings. Even using offline tactics like attending relevant business events, distributing flyers or making sure that your office space has signage that is visible and well-branded can help you get in front of potential clients.
At the end of the day, you need to weigh up what your business needs are and what the most cost-effective way is to meet those needs and bring in sales. Not every business will have working capital for this, staggering marketing campaigns throughout the year may not be in your budget and the cost of developing a website or even just purchasing the template to do it yourself in a more cost-effective way may be something you know you need to do but can’t afford right now.
This doesn’t have to be the case. Lula can help you get fast, easy access to the money you need to market your business in the right way. You don’t have to forgo this important aspect of your business. At Lula, we are passionate about helping you achieve your business goals, and we realise that finding the capital needed to grow your business can be quite challenging. This is why we provide funding for small businesses and free banking accounts to growing startups and entrepreneurs; we want to give you a helping hand when it comes to bringing in more sales and achieving financial freedom.