A lot of small businesses have problems with marketing. I know it’s true. I’ve seen it thousands of times. Let’s return to the beginning. Then you decide.
The evolution of the small business owner from the New Age Period – 1960’s
If anyone could run a small business, then every person would own one. Source unknown.
- Small businesses provide 55% of all jobs and 66% of all new jobs since the 1970s.
- The number of small businesses in the United States has increased 49% since 1982.
- Since 1990, as big business eliminated 4 million jobs, small businesses added 8 million new jobs.
- The 23 million small businesses in America account for 54% of all U.S. sales.
- Source: US Small Business Administration
Small Business Profiling – Six types of entrepreneurial small business owners I have met.
The first owner type: The out of the gate quickly business owner. – I was fortunate to have the where-with-all to start my first business in 1984. I learned quickly most small businesses are started by an entrepreneur. I liked that term and once I learned how to spell it, I would tell anyone who was willing listen what I did for a living.
As noted on a business card, the first morphed into number two: There is a free lunch. – Once so categorized, the newly coined entrepreneur thought he should become a risk taker, portraying himself as a leader of people and a beacon in the night for others to follow. Unfortunately for me, my so-called following were low budget types who preferred I pay the tab.
Number three was a varietal: Not smarter as a group. – Soon, I met with other small business owners and began selling them on my acumen as an advertising genius. It became known to me very quickly the small business owner felt the same way about themselves. These self-anointed experts thought long and hard before rendering a decision regarding my services proposed to them. At times, the decision took what seemed like years to make, if ever, but I usually was never told of the decision. A “going out of business” sale was at times my only notice.
Number four was spoon fed: The truly gifted one. – Another segment of business owners I discovered was the small business started by a family member. This original business owner had a generation or two of experience and was quite proud of their achievements. Most of these owners were usually proud parents with many children waiting to take over the business, especially the ones motivated for selling and having a large expense account.
Number five was anointed: The bearer of the short straw. – The business selection process to determine the next company president was normally the oldest offspring, usually male or on special occasions, the one who drew the short straw. Now selected, this person believes the future is now but somehow they could not fully embrace change. Hence, the name given was the “generation business terminator,” which is better known as the entitled one and bearer of the short straw.
The final prototype: I’ll give you a call next week! – The preferred sibling was determined to make their own mark with the company and would spend years laying out a new company growth period. They promised to call me when their plan was in place. Fortunately for me, I was always busy, and never waited for the phone call that never came.
So what type of person is a successful entrepreneur?
Is it like Steven Jobs or Henry Ford? Is it someone who knows how to use marketing to grow a business or is it more like the person who lives next door and has not kept a real house plant alive for more than 2 weeks? The small business owner who knows how to use marketing understands…
Marketing is not difficult.
Think about this section title. Marketing is relatively easy when you have a product everyone wants. Someone who likes your product will buy it at a price that is affordable to them. In this scenario, there is nothing difficult to understand about marketing.
Who made marketing difficult?
Here’s another look at marketing. Marketing is the really fundamental process known as the four P’s. Simply, these 4 P’s are Product, Price, Place and Promotion. According to reliable sources (the internet, so it must be true), a university professor started sharing these P’s in 1948 with his students. Again, this is nothing difficult.
Let’s get this “marketing is not difficult” straight. If you have a good product, appropriately priced, within a reasonable distance of travel or shipping, all you need to do is to tell people. Now you see what I mean. Marketing is not difficult. Unfortunately, so-called marketing guru’s found a way to make a bundle of cash helping small businesses right their marketing ship. Now, small business marketing is difficult.
So, what are you missing about your marketing that makes it difficult?
In my introduction of this post, I presented a small but an experienced cross section of business owners I have met since I started my own business journey in 1984. It was fortuitous for me to meet a variety of people during my journey. I am very greatful for that opportunity.
I always want to help people. I liked sharing my marketing experiences and information with anyone who would listen. Most of the business owners I met, already met some of the so-called marketing guru’s such as a designer, a printer or the sales person who has answers for anything. All of these owners learned from that experience that marketing is difficult. Before I try to answer “what type of person is a successful entrepreneur,” first I need to find the source of the success. And I need your help.
There is a missing P of marketing which can make marketing fun and easy.
I have always felt that the most important P when it comes to marketing was the one P missing from the professor’s briefcase of P’s. Do you know what represents the fifth P that belongs with the other four I wrote about?
Jot your answer in the comments section and tell me why? I’ll select the best answer and announce the winner. Go! Discussion ends on March 31st or when I have 25 comments.
Everything marketing starts and ends with your customers… cater to them, listen to them and react to them. The results will amaze you.
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