When it comes to marketing a business the frequent complaint from small biz owners is that marketing rarely works or just isn’t worth the expense. For those business owners I offer the reasons below as to why that may seem to be true.


1.) You Try to Do It Yourself.

Yeah, I know, you’d get marketing help if you could trust it, or afford it. Yes, it’s true that many marketing firms are beyond the financial reach of many small businesses. However, if you truly believe in the benefits of smart marketing there are professional resources that your small business can afford. You just may have to invest the time to find and qualify them. And, the better you’re able to qualify them, the more you’ll be able to trust them.


One business owner who knew the value of investing in marketing expertise was Steve Jobs. Apple incorporated on January 3rd, 1977, and within the year was running ads created by an outside agency. Great, creative marketing has been a driving force behind Apple’s stellar success ever since. As Anita Campbell, Founder of Small Business Trends, says:


Business success is all about finding the right outside service providers

and using them wisely. You can’t do it all yourself.”

2.) You Hire Marketing Help, But it’s the Wrong Marketing Help.

Unfortunately, most small business owners don’t know what they don’t know, which makes it easy for them to be misled. It’s kind of a Catch 22. Because while they may be smart enough to know they’re not marketing experts, it’s very tough to be smart enough to know who is. Getting referrals helps, but it’s not enough. So, to know how to qualify marketing help, read this.


3.) You Don’t Have a Realistic Definition of What Success Is.

“Success” can mean a million different things to a million different people. Plus, every situation is different. For example, if you’re offering a coupon or running a sale it’s easier to define success than if you’re rebranding your business with an upgraded logo, tagline or website. Obviously, that doesn’t mean that an upgraded logo, tagline or website is any less important.


My point is that the idea of “success” is something to be discussed upfront. This is where an outside professional perspective will definitively help. Because not only will they know more about marketing than you, but they’ll also have a more objective perspective. And, that objectivity is key. Assuming you’re able to come to an agreement about what a successful effort might look like you’ll then be in a much better position to move forward with confidence and try to achieve it.


It’s unfortunate how often business owners and outside marketing resources move forward without doing this and then end up equally disgruntled.


It truly kills me to see frustrated and jaded business owners struggling because they’ve never figured out how to resolve their marketing issues. Hopefully, this will help.

Author Bio:

John Follis is a business owner and nationally respected marketing exec profiled on Wikipedia. His successful campaigns have been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USAToday, Forbes and two college textbooks. He’s also author of “How to Attract and ExciteYour Prospects” a guide to getting the best marketing results. His innovative “Marketing Therapy” program helps businesses around the US achieve their marketing goals faster, smarter, and more cost-effectively.

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