You’ve decided to start a small business and you have developed a business plan. You found a beautiful facility on a bustling Main Street in a high-income area. You’ve ordered the stationery with the crisp letterhead, hired all your employees and otherwise invested $500,000 into your dream.
Fast forward six months: You can’t sleep and you think you’re developing an ulcer, all because you’re freaking out because you need new customers and you cannot get new customers. Business is way beyond struggling.
And now you’re kicking yourself for listening to your financial manager and not investing in marketing.
How could you not have marketing in your plan?
What I am finding a lot out there lately – especially in this unpredictable, technology-driven world – is small business investors and owners refuse to factor marketing dollars in a business plan. In some cases, their accountants do not even understand why it is important, and push this stance that marketing is valueless to the business investor.
With all the digital venues out there, marketing is invaluable. If you do not invest in marketing, you will be lost. A good marketing company and marketing plan is your navigator and map to success.
There’s the old adage from “Field of Dreams” that does not hold true anymore in this day and age: Build it and they will come.
Without marketing, they will never come.
But it’s more than advertising and Facebook presence: It is about building a brand. It’s about awareness. Most importantly, it is about trust. And not just business to business or business to consumer trust, but trust on the Internet.
Back in the 1980s and 1990s, all we had was radio, newspaper and television. Now, we have more traditional means: Internet marketing, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
Word of mouth is no longer the go-to answer. Soon, word of mouth becomes whisper down the lane, and then just a whisper.
You don’t want a whisper – you want a megaphone. Digital marketing is that megaphone.
This problem is not rooted in just start-up businesses; it affects well-established companies and companies who are expanding divisions and departments.
Marketing is the critical part in getting your business to the next level of success.
Forbes Magazine estimated that 80 percent of start-up investors fail within the first 18 months. Two major reasons for this: Entrepreneurs are not in touch with their customers and entrepreneurs fail to develop a profitable business plan for the proper market for their product.
In the end, marketing means the difference between a grand anniversary celebration and a grand closing sale.