What's Your Skillset?
A successful marketing plan is one that you feel comfortable using. It is truly self-defeating to set up a plan of activities that you dread doing everyday. The world is a big place. There is no need to box yourself in when there are a plethora of marketing choices available.
Take some time to consider what assets you already have, i.e., are you comfortable online and already posting on social? Do you already have a list of customer emails? Are you active in local organizations like little league? Use these as a guide to your marketing programs.
Time Vs. Expense
(Otherwise known as “Make vs. Buy”)
The number one lesson I learned being a small business owner was that everything was a trade off between time and money. Sure, I could learn how to make all of our flyers, ads, whatever marketing things we needed, but then I was also supposed to be running my business. That meant when my sales team needed tools, they were often waiting on me. This isn’t a great situation to be in.
Take this skillset self-assessment to see how what types of marketing you're a natural at!
On the other hand, having someone else do our marketing for us was often more expensive than I could afford. Sometimes we had a sales team of 14 people—that meant clothing, business cards, collateral, signs, car magnets, flyers, etc. for each one of them.
What I didn’t learn until much later was to pick my poison. The best thing you as a business owner can do is to figure out what you’re skilled at—and what you are not. If you can easily make your own *professional-looking, brand-focused* flyers, but aren’t great at writing content, then get someone who can. Maybe you want to design your own website but it’s just not looking right--that’s worth an investment.
Potential Pitfalls of Doing It Yourself
Marketing isn't difficult, but it does take time, and a careful eye for detail and design. Make no mistake, doing things yourself is cheaper, but not always better. In the arena of business, you might not be better off taking on your own projects. Here is what to watch out for:
Saying you’re going to start a project, and never doing it
Allowing yourself way too much time to get a project done
Not being skilled at a project, doing it yourself and living with low quality
Spending way too much time on your marketing projects, and letting the rest of your business suffer
If you do want to tackle your own marketing, make sure to practice good business management: set goals, milestones and dates, hold yourself to them, and use a critical eye! Now let’s look at some basic small business marketing programs you should be familiar with.