Are you creating your own problems? There’s a tendency among small business owners to try to do too much: a 2016 report from the National Retail Foundation found a whopping majority of small business owners overburden themselves by trying to handle everything from recruiting and hiring to marketing and advertising. Even the savviest entrepreneur needs help sometimes. One of the most important lessons a business owner can learn is to know what you don’t do well.
Identifying that weakness-and finding a solution-can be the difference between success and failure. According to the Small Business Administration, over one-third of small businesses fail within 5 years. As a small business owner, the most important thing to ask yourself is this: at what point do you stop doing it all yourself and ask for help?
When to Ask For Help
If you wait too long to ask for help, it’s already too late. In other words, before you try and fail indefinitely, identify where you’re failing and try to figure out if you can fix it on your own. You can learn just about anything from a YouTube video these days!
Once you’ve started your business, what’s your primary task? Attracting customers! That means from the get-go, the impetus is on marketing. If you can’t reel in enough customers to keep the books green, you won’t be in business for too long. Furthermore, if you’re not identifying the right customers, your customer acquisition cost will go way up-and your lifetime customer value will plummet.
If you start marketing your new business after you’ve already opened, it’s too late. Work to develop a plan to build a buzz around the opening, highlighting what problems you’ll solve as well as how and why folks should choose you over the competition. Look to identify target customer segments and key areas in which you can reach them. With the right mix of social media and other marketing techniques, you can build a brand before you even open a retail store!
What’s at Stake
Remember, a whopping third of small businesses don’t make it past five years. Trying to handle everything yourself can cut financial costs, but at what expense? If you’re spending more time on tasks that are too large for your hands, you’re not spending that time in your area of expertise. When you’re wasting time, you’re losing revenue. Even if you spend on outsourcing tasks like marketing, if you’re generating enough revenue, it’s worth it!
Among the most common reasons businesses fail is because of marketing problems. Between underestimating total marketing costs and mismanaging campaigns, countless businesses fail to reach their target market-even with a great product. In a nutshell, businesses that fail to understand the intricacies of digital marketing fail to reach their audience. Remember, even if you’re spending $100 an hour for your digital marketing, if you’re reaching enough customers, it’s more than worth it!
Know What You Don’t Do Well
When it comes to marketing your business, ask yourself this question: do you have what it takes to commit to a full-time strategic marketing plan? Do you have the ability and resources to collect and analyze data, tweak campaigns, and tap into new and undiscovered markets? More than likely, the answer is no. Once you launch your business, you’re guaranteed to be competing with folks who know the industry as well as-if not better-than you. You’ll also be facing companies with bigger budgets, more resources, and more customers.
If you know what you don’t do well, you can focus on the areas in which you excel. Set yourself up for success and leave the marketing to the professionals. A professional marketing company can get help you achieve a higher ROI, more customers, and bigger profits. Outsourcing your marketing can save you time, money, and effort. Most importantly, it can be the biggest single factor in determining the success-or failure-of your small business.