Marketing: The Challenge and Neglect

by Victor J. McCoy, Digital Marketing Strategist, 3V Design Media

Growing revenue is a major challenge facing you, the small business owner. Another major challenge is marketing and advertising – which facilitates the first. As a small business owner employing between zero and 10 employees they are an even greater challenge because of the lack of human capital. Research has shown that small business start-ups lack some of the critical disciplines needed to grow a profitable business.  Statistics show that 51% of all businesses started fail within the first four years. The leading cause for 46% of the businesses that fail is incompetence. Not necessarily incompetence as it relates to the company’s product or service knowledge. But, incompetence as it relates to the primary disciplines needed to operate and build a successful business over time. Disciplines like production and delivery, accounting that includes tax planning and financial projections, advertising and marketing, and human resource management – hiring and managing the right talent. You may be thinking, “what about the lack of capital as the cause for business failure?” The amount of capital needed is included in the projections so that you’ll know what you need to start the business and at what point an injection will be needed to continue operating the business until breakeven or to begin producing profit – which is what you really must achieve. Not to understand that falls under “incompetence”. Financial projections get their life from marketing and sales. Without a plan that is both executable and measurable your chances of success are exponentially minimized. The very definition of success is the accomplishment of an intended objective, which means you must have defined goals and task that will lead to that end.

Many small businesses operate without having a written marketing and advertising plan or daily task that may produce the level of sales needed to grow a profitable business. I have found it is not that they don’t understand the importance, it’s they neglect the importance. Sometimes it’s the lack of skills, others it’s the lack of “will”. After all, the “work” has to be done. Yes, marketing is a constant challenge but it must not be neglected – it produces sales that is the life blood of business.

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