The Easy Way to Handle Your Small Business Internet Marketing

I believe there’s a bit of a myth in the small business marketing world today about what small business owners know and understand about marketing on the internet. I constantly hear from many other marketing consultants that business owners don’t even know they need to market their products and services on the internet for success.

While it’s true that many businesses serving a local market don’t have a website or Facebook page or Google Places listing, it’s not always because they don’t know these things exist or that they need them. I can’t say that I’ve never met a business owner who was oblivious to the internet revolution, but I can count them on one hand!

What I constantly hear from busy entrepreneurs today is:

  • “I don’t have time to…”
  • “I don’t know how to…”
  • “I don’t think I can consistently do this every week…”

What I’m gathering from these statements is that they know they need to be actively marketing their company online, but there are tons of roadblocks to making it work for them. So what options does a small business owner have if they meet these roadblocks?

Hiring a professional marketing consultant is one of the best options available to small business owners. This is a form of outsourcing which is a concept that’s familiar to many companies that rely on contractors for many tasks.

By hiring a marketing consultant to manage your internet marketing, you get a single point of contact for all the internet marketing tasks that you implement. That contact will provide reporting and you’ll have someone to brainstorm marketing strategies with when you need it.

Maybe one of the most important aspects of hiring a marketing consultant is that the work that needs to be done consistently and accurately will be done for you. You won’t have to learn or understand the processes or how they work. You won’t have to figure out who and how to delegate this work to.

Consider making it easy on yourself and growing your business at the same time by hiring a marketing professional to handle your internet marketing campaign. Obviously you have to do the proper research and make sure that the consultant you choose to work with is a fit for you and your business.

This may take some time in research and interviewing, but the reward is worth the price. You’ll end up with more time to run your business and you’ll have a marketing program that will bring in more leads and new business.

To the Basics – Examining A Sense of Business Based on Previous Experience

“You have a sound sense of business,” is what was written on the paper inside the fortune cookie. I’m not superstitious about fortune cookies, by any means, but it just made me think about the subject as I sat there eating my Panda Express. What was my sense of business, really? What business knowledge or experience did I have?

Most basic definitions of a business go something like a person or organization engaged in commerce or services. I have never really thought of myself as an entrepreneur, per se, but I guess, given the basic definition of a business then I just might be. Since I was in high school, I have been essentially a freelance computer technician aside from any other jobs that I’ve had.

I didn’t use any kind of advertisement, but instead just relied on word-of-mouth to get new work. After all, I never thought of myself as running a business; it was just something I did every now and then for extra money. My reputation grew and I started to get calls from more and more people wanting my computer help, ranging from spyware removal or hardware installation to even assistance in buying a new PC.

What made these people come to me? After all, there were no shortages of computer repair services in my hometown, from companies to individuals. What did I bring to the table that the others didn’t? Why, in general, would somebody pick one business over another? My “targeted market,” you could say, was one of the factors that led people to call me. While some of the businesses only did computer work for other businesses, I did for private users and in a few cases, organizations like churches.

While my targeted market narrowed the choices down somewhat, it doesn’t mean that all potential clients would then come to me. Efficiency was another factor in their decision. A lot of the other companies and private technicians would take much longer to do the same task and sometimes take the easy way out instead of going through with what the client asked. I knew of one case of basic virus and spyware removal where one of the companies told the potential client the task would take about a week and that they were just going to reformat the computer. This potential client had also heard about me and decided to ask if there was anything that I could do. I examined the computer and came to the conclusion that I could easily have the thing fixed the way they wanted it in about two hours. Needless to say, the client chose me.

Hiring me was also much less expensive than hiring one of the competitors. I could obviously charge less since I already had another job and didn’t have to make my living doing computer work. Other companies would charge extremely high by the hour, sometimes around $70-80 an hour. In the case mentioned in the previous paragraph, the company told the client that it would cost $100 for reformatting the computer, which itself would be about a thirty-minute job, meaning that they thought the task was worth $200 per hour. The client would also have other non-monetary costs, such as losing all of their files as well as not having their computer for a week. When they decided to call me for help, I charged forty dollars and they still got to keep their files and have their computer at home.

These other factors would be nothing if it wasn’t for the reputation factor. Having a good, solid reputation was instrumental in me getting any clients. By word-of-mouth, people would find out that if they were a home user or small organization looking for some cheap computer work done quickly, I would be an ideal one for the job. The positive relationships with the clients enabled my reputation to spread through their positive talk and recommendations to future potential clients. A personal recommendation from somebody I trust is much more important in my decision-making than any kind of advertisement campaign, personally.

My business never had a name, primarily because I didn’t really considered it a business. Now it seems to me, though, I was the business as well as the entrepreneur. I was just selling my time and my skills with computers to people. While I’m no Forbes 100 company, I believe that the logic behind what I did makes sense: develop a reputation for an efficient and inexpensive service for a specific market. That’s about as simple as a business model can get. Maybe the fortune cookie was right and I do have a sound sense of business.