Data shows that roughly 66% of all businesses fail within the first seven years. That’s a commonly quoted figure, raising fear in all but the most entrepreneurial souls. Another appalling statistic was a well-kept secret until recently.
A study done by research firm Issues and Answers for the Yellow Pages Association revealed that 70% of small businesses owners forgo any marketing support for their business. At the same time, business owners admit their biggest challenge is finding new customers.
Why would business owners not seek help for the most difficult part of their business?
I’m going out on a limb here, and I’ll probably be criticized for it. But here goes.
I’ll bet there are three major reasons business owners don’t reach out:
1) Because the importance of marketing and sales is overlooked by most– if not all–of the organizations that support business start-ups.
2) Because of my first answer, business owners are embarrassed to ask for help. They assume they are the only one having difficulty.
3) They think professional marketing services are out of reach for their budget.
Since marketing receives little emphasis during the business planning process, business owners assume it’s something they should “just know how to do,” because they know how to provide their product or service.
If you’re a business owner struggling to attract new customers, know this: It’s not your fault. You didn’t get the whole story.
Getting your name out there is a completely different animal than actually delivering the goods. In reality, you’re really running two businesses. The first is a marketing business; the second is providing your service or product.
What you may not get–or maybe you do, since you’re reading this–is that if you don’t do the first, you won’t have the second.
Did you catch that? If you don’t attract customers, you won’t have anything to deliver. See how that works?
So let’s make sure this doesn’t happen to you and your business.
With millions of people searching for local businesses via their computers or cell phones, your business must have at least a basic presence online. This could be as simple as listing your business on free business directory sites and a one page web site that collects email addresses.
Another reason it’s important to advertise online is because of the uncertainty of the newspaper industry. What will you do when the local newspaper you advertise in goes bankrupt? If that is your main method of advertising your business, what’s your plan B?
A third reason to use online marketing is because a single article or press release can continue to drive customers to you for years. You pay once (in time or money) to create a great piece about your business-and years later it is still driving traffic to your website. You don’t get that kind of return on investment with print advertising!
If you have been putting off taking your business online because you think it’s too complicated…think again. It’s so much easier than you think.
And now I invite you to get a special report, a must-have resource for free online advertising, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org