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WHY EAT, WHEN YOU COULD BE SPENDING TIME AND MONEY MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS.

Prioritize marketing at the top of your list

It is hard to understand in this world of constant advertisement and social media that small business owners fail to make marketing the top priority each and every day.

Why do the big companies spend millions and millions of dollars into advertising?

The answer is simple.  It works.  If it did not work, why would they pay millions of dollars to be seen for 15 seconds on Super Bowl Sunday.

With my involvement in the local community and as the President of the La Grange Business Association, I interact with a large amount of small businesses.  The biggest problem with a majority of these businesses is that they do not rank marketing as a top priority.

Allocate significant amounts of your revenue towards marketing

It is my humble opinion that if a business owner has the choice to spend his money to eat lunch or to market his business, my thought is that he should wait for dinner to eat.

Typically, small businesses with revenues of less than $5,000,000 should be allocating 7 to 8 percent of their revenues to marketing.  That seems to be a lot, but every marketing dollar (spent correctly) will spur on growth and generate more revenue.  This type of money should be directed at branding and promoting your business.

With the internet now being a huge source of marketing you can more bang for your buck.

The beauty of the new electronic age and the power of social media is that small businesses have an incredible opportunity to market their business without expending large sums of money.

Do not fear social media, embrace it and market away.

What I hear all the time is that it is too complex and it is too intimidating and that it takes up too much time.

If you do not know how to do it, there are many ways in which to learn.  Local business associations, chambers of commerce, community colleges, and of course the internet can guide you in how to target market and the mode of marketing.

However, the easiest way is to simply ask someone that has a successful business on the best way to market.  There is always someone that is more successful than you are so why not ask why they are successful.  This technique is the best way that I have learned how to improve my business.  Successful business people typically are very willing to provide information and knowledge.

As I have experienced several growth spurts over the last 4 years, it has always come as a result of marketing my business.  That is not to say every marketing campaign or expense will result in business.  However, globally a marketing effort will grow your business.  You need to learn which advertising mechanism best spurs on your customers.  Trial and error will work, but talking to someone who knows your industry is better.

Spend your marketing money wisely, know your target market.

My best example of the importance of marketing to the right people was seen in a recent committee meeting for the La Grange West End Arts Festival.  Our goal, of course, is to determine how to get more artists and how to get more people to our event.

Prior to the artists involving themselves on the committee we were directing our advertising time and dollars on to Facebook.  The Artists came in and immediately said that artists and the people looking for art spend their time on Instagram.  In a five minute discussion we were able to determine where our target audience is spending their time.  Now we are directing our attention to our target audience which is more effective and cost effective.

Be an optimist, the marketing will work

It is natural to fear the expenditure of revenue.  Someone will say, “What happens if the marketing does not work?”

Know that the marketing will work and that you have to commit to it.

However, do remember that when the advertising and marketing does work, you will experience growth that you will have to deal with.That is a good problem to have but a problem nonetheless.A future blog will address how to anticipate, prepare for and handle the growth that comes from marketing.

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