John was completing his last flooring job as “ABC Carpets & Installation”. It was a bittersweet moment, as he loved to be his own boss, set his own schedule, and run his own business. But after only a few short years in the entrepreneurial driver’s seat, he was forced to step away and find steady work.

Why was John, my dad, closing his business? Because he simply couldn’t afford to stay in business for himself any longer due to the lack of revenue he was producing…

But this could have been different… Very different.

Why is marketing so important?

If you’ve got a solid business plan (we will definitely talk about this later), you have designed your financial model is this basic way:

Top Line Revenue (Sales)

Cost of Goods Sold

Labor

Directs & Overhead

Profit

So where does marketing play into all of this financial mumble-jumble? Very, very simple: SALES DRIVING!

When you think of marketing, you absolutely MUST think of the efforts you put into this as pure top-line driving tactics. The question you should be asking yourself every time you create or implement a marketing strategy should always be “How will this drive my sales?” If you can’t answer that question clearly and can measure success, then whatever you’re thinking about is simply not marketing.

But why marketing? Why can’t I just sell products? Why can’t I just put my service out there and wait for the masses to come?

Simple: they won’t. Although word-of-mouth is fantastic, you’ve got to get mouths to sing the joyous hymns of your great business first!

I’m pretty sure Steve Jobs didn’t rely on his mom to tell her friends about Apple. Henry Ford’s friends didn’t just spring up and decide to buy cars because they were there.

No, no! Marketing can be the ultimate factor of success or failure.

More sales=more profit.

Let me tell you from experience… it is much easier to manage finances and the “middle” of your P&L (acronym for Profit & Loss Statement) with revenue flowing in the hub of your business. The creation of capital is the fine line between expansion and a “CLOSED” sign hanging on your front door.

So what is this “Marketing” thing, anyways?

Marketing, just like most words in this complicated language we call English, is interpreted many different ways.  For example, here are a few that I find as my favorite:

Google:

The action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.

Investopedia:

The activities of a company associated with buying and selling a product or service.  It includes advertising, selling, and delivering products to people.

Merriam-Webster:

1.) The activities that are involved inmaking people aware of a company’s products, making sure that products are available to be bought, etc.  2.) the process or techniques of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service.

Now, these definitions are very specific, yet very different in their different uses.  Seeing as this blog is dedicated to your success as a small business entrepreneur, let’s drill this down specifically to how we will think of marketing going forward.

Marketing is the process of promoting the value and uniqueness of a small business through the act of advertising, selling, and delivering products and services through innovative techniques and intentional actions.  This process is achieved only through dedicated research and specific strategic planning and results are always measurable for success.

Throughout our journey together, we will hit all points of this definition and what it takes to put your business on the map.

How will I ever get this done?

Time is valuable.  I get it!  

There is nothing that is more frustrating than going to bed knowing I did not have time to get everything I needed to do done.

But the importance of creating a valuable plan is essential to the success of your business.

Here is a fun fact: One of the main proven reasons why your business will fail is because you either have a stale or non-existence marketing strategy.

If this clear truth doesn’t change your mindset about marketing… Then this blog isn’t for you.  It also isn’t for you if you are looking for a quick-fix.

Marketing strategies are important, and deserve just as much time (if not more) as you put into your finances.

QUICK TIPCarve out 2-3 hours a week to completely immerse yourself in the world of marketing.  No distractions.  No other plans.  It’s that important.  Play the role of “Director of Marketing” for your business.  Take your mind out of ‘worker-bee’ mode and take time to plan your strategies!

Let’s take action!

We’ve talked about the meaning of Small Business Marketing, and why marketing is so vital to your business.  Now, let’s take action.

Here’s the plan: Take your calendar out and plan the half of one day a week to marketing.  Ask yourself the question “How will I drive sales today?” each time you sit down.  Use this time for research and planning.  INTENTIONAL PLANNING!

Got questions? Comments?  Want to know about a specific topic?  Let us hear it below!  We also want to hear your success stories!

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