Owning a small business usually means wearing many hats. It comes with the territory. But given the choice, most of us have areas of responsibility that we’d rather hand off to others. What happens though, if that dreaded task is marketing your business? Is this something that you can really “hand off”? Even if you technically can, should you?
Why Marketing Your Business is Different
While it is possible to hand off or outsource your marketing activity, the truth is that marketing is different from most other aspects of running your business. It isn’t a business add-on. It’s really one of the main elements of what you’re doing as a business owner, and if you fail to recognize this, it can end up costing you a significant amount of money and ultimately your business over the long run.
At its core, marketing means conveying the unique value of what your business has to offer to current and potential customers, where “value” can refer to a lot of things: the features you are offering, your level of service, your business’ ideals and ethics, or your relatability to the customer. As a micro business owner, your goal is to constantly convey these values even when you are not directly involved in a marketing activity. Doing so is an inseparable part of doing business- successfully, anyway. After all, you are your business.
Options for the Marketing Phobic Micro Business Owner
That said, you basically have four options if you don’t like marketing your business:
1. Change your attitude. Seriously. Get over it! Learn to understand and appreciate marketing your business, and then learn how to do marketing well.
2. Find a business partner who will agree to take on the marketing. This may be a viable option for business owners who harbor an aversion to marketing. But, it means finding someone who is as committed to the business as you are and who will be able to give over right messages in the right way. That may not be so easy to do. Such a setup also means giving up on your autonomy.
3. Hire others to do your marketing for you. Some business owners choose to take themselves out of the marketing equation entirely- especially when it comes to online marketing. But there are two big problems with this: 1. It can get very expensive, and 2. Many outside marketers don’t know what they are doing, and they can end up doing damage to your business’ reputation.
4. Accept that running a business may not be for you. Not everyone is meant to run their own business. It’s a big reason why business failure rates are so high- especially online. Running your own business is not at all like having a job. You will have a lot more responsibility and need a lot more initiative to make things work, particularly when you are just starting out and there are many more unknowns. If all of this turns you off, then it could be a sign that business ownership is just not right for you.
In short, effective marketing is a key element in running a successful business, and it is not something that can be so easily outsourced. If marketing your business is truly a challenge, you may have a few options, but at the same time they may not be so easy to swallow. It all depends on how much you really want to be running your own business in the first place.