Small Business Marketing by Jillian Shaw Marketing, Advertising & Public Relations for the Small Business

Do I Really Have Time To Spend On Marketing?

03.04.2010 · Posted in Business Solutions, Planning, Time Management

small business time management

Small business owners have no time.  I don’t care how good you are at multi-tasking, if you own a small business, the to-do list never ends.  Where do you squeeze in time to even think about marketing, advertising or public relations?  Marketing (and subsequently, advertising and public relations, too) are key components to bringing in new business first of all, and repeat business secondarily.  So how do you make time?  Here’s a quick list of little things you can do to squeeze marketing your small business into your day:

  • Write A Marketing Plan.  I know it sounds like I just told you to do something that will take hours, and I did.  But once you’ve written a plan, the time you spend on marketing your small business will be focused, goal-oriented and ten times more productive.
  • Take Five. Take five minutes out of each morning.  Make it the first five minutes of your work day, before you flip the ‘open’ sign and before you start the day to day tasks that have to be done every morning.  If you do your marketing brainstorming before you open any other cans of worms, your mind will be freer, clearer and that five minutes will generate much more productive work than an hour would later in the day.
  • Learn from other small businesses. Why reinvent the wheel?  Get online or just get out and talk to your network in the community.  What have other small business owners done to improve their marketing results?  What’s worked for them? What hasn’t?  What public relations tactics work best in your area?  What creative advertising ideas have other small business owners implemented and succeeded (or failed) with?  Learn from others’ mistakes and successes and you’ll save yourself the time of thinking up and trying those tactics for the first time yourself.
  • Just start advertising. Some small business owners are so afraid of wasting precious dollars (a valid concern, mind you) that they stick their head in the ground like an ostrich instead.  You have to do something.  Just start advertising.  Buy an advertisement in the newspaper or on a popular local website.  Heck, make a frickin’ flyer and post it at local grocery stores.  Do anything and it will lead to something.  There is a risk of spending money and getting a low return on investment, but a low return is better than none at all.  And you can’t learn from those experiences if you never have them, so start doing, already!
  • Use lists. This is probably more of a generic time management technique than a small business marketing technique, but it’s how I do absolutely everything.  Carry around a small notepad – the kind that cost 50 cents at the drug store – and just write down marketing ideas and to-dos whenever and wherever they come to you.  When you go back and review, you can organize them if you like, or just start doing things and marking them off the list.  Another way to do this is to use a PDA like a Palm Pilot or something, of course, but tiny notepads are certainly more cost effective for a small business.

Do you have any additional ideas for saving time when you’re working on your small business marketing?  How do you streamline your advertising and public relations thinking?

Jillian's Currently Reading: Guerrilla Marketing, 4th edition: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business
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