Are you ready for a crash course in marketing?
Small businesses are full of energy, but if they can’t get their names out there they can easily run aground. Here are some hints on how to avoid those risks
Dee Blick is author of The 15 Essential Marketing Masterclasses for Your Small Business. We quizzed her about the very specific marketing hurdles that small businesses must overcome – and what makes her book stand out from the pack.
What is the greatest challenge when doing marketing for a small business?
The challenges are the same as for large businesses, but the budgets differ. Often businesses, large as well as small, go straight into tactics, in response to feeling the pressures from a competitor. In the rush to act, they forget to go back to basics and put together a marketing plan. Simply put, you need to be looking at who you want to interact with before you start thinking about how you’re going to reach them.
How do you do this on a shoestring?
All you need is a plan. Small businesses are hungry for time and have little resources to spend on marketing. But you don’t have to be a marketing guru or have a marketing department to do it. Start online by identifying your target audience and use the business literature available in your local library. It’s about getting marketing savvy not just relying on expensive services. There are plenty of cheap tools out there – many small-business owners just don’t know about them and spend unnecessarily large amounts on marketing as a result.
Why are small businesses not better at it?
My background is in huge plcs, where I had marketing budgets in the millions. But when I starting working with small businesses, I realised that all the tactics used in big businesses could be scaled down and used effectively with small businesses, too. They’re not any worse at marketing, but they can’t afford to try something that might not work. Every pound spent on marketing counts and I want to show that you can deliver significant results on a small budget.
What differentiates your book from others on the same topic?
I call it a commuter read. I imagine my reader is on a train or on a bus or in an airport lounge and they’ve got about an hour to spare. My goal is to, within that short space of time, make them think, “Blimey, I can do that myself!” The first three chapters are all about how to develop a marketing plan. It really goes back to the basics and, using case studies, illustrates in practical terms that marketing is actually pretty straightforward. The message is simple: if you want to do it on a shoestring you’ve got to jack up your knowledge.
What do you hope that your book will help managers achieve?
I hope they will read the case studies and see the real results other people have had from simply developing a successful marketing plan. It’s not just marketing mumbo jumbo, it actually works. I want to share the knowledge I’ve accumulated over the years. I don’t believe in just giving some of the tricks, which is why I’ve included all of the tips and secrets I’ve picked up in the past.