February 2, 2015 Relative Creative, LLC

The Marketing Catch-22 for Small Businesses

For many small business owners (including ourselves at one point), the very thought of “Marketing” of ANY kind may seem like a “Catch-22”. If feels like you’re stuck in a big circle when it comes to deciding what to do. Your rationalizations end up looking about like this:

  • I need to Market my services/products/entity to gain more customers/clients/subscribers, but can’t afford the high costs associated with marketing.
  • I need more customers/subscribers/supporters, but can’t get them without marketing. And I can’t afford marketing.

We call this the “Marketing Catch-22”. This is somewhat of a sticky place to be, and if you’re a small business owner, you have faced this conundrum at least once in your past (if not currently). You understand that, unlike the photo above, there are NO signs or directions to “success”, and that every decision you make can have a huge negative or positive difference to your company’s bottom line (and you’re just wanting to make the RIGHT decision and positively effect the bottom line). Well…we’ve been there (and sometimes find ourselves there again), and we have a few tips for our friends who may find themselves in this position today or in the future:

  1. It’s ALWAYS better to do “Something” than nothing when it comes to Marketing.
  2. Not every avenue of marketing is overwhelmingly expensive – there are some inexpensive avenues that work well in building brand/product awareness.
  3. Not every marketing medium works for every organization, so don’t just choose “anything”.
  4. “Test” the mediums you choose…you don’t have to buy into a crap-ton of postcards/ads/commercials/etc. to see if a particular avenue is going to work at engaging customers/supporters/etc.
  5. Make a budget, and plan to ramp it up when you’re financially able.
  6. Choose a marketing partner who will operate within your set budget, and who can help you evaluate what “works”.
  7. Always, Always, ALWAYS ask new customers/supporters where they found out about you. This will give you an idea as to which marketing techniques are doing well, and which ones are not.
  8. Referrals are the BEST way of marketing – if you don’t have a quality product/service/organization (though you may think so), you’ll be able to tell by the number of referrals.

And as always, if you need help with your marketing efforts, feel free to give us a call. We’ll be glad to sit and discuss your current situation with you and see how we can help.

Relative Creative, LLC

The Crew at Relative Creative brings useful, pertinent content and exceptional designs to our client's websites.