Many small business owners start out solo. Sometimes it’s out of necessity, and sometimes it’s what they want.
Over time, however, you’ll have to begin enlisting help for one set of tasks or another. You might start with a virtual assistant, bring on a salesperson, and hire a customer service rep.
Not long after those strategic key hires, you start to picture – could I get better marketing results if I used a marketing consultant?
The answer: Hiring a professional marketing consultant to help you get a new or better result from your business is often a very good idea. Many times a fresh set of eyes and ears can bring new perspectives to problem solving. In some cases, simply adding a level of accountability and someone to kick you in a focused place can be enough to help fuel the attainment of your objectives.
But, how do you know when it’s time to stop doing it yourself (or delegating it to an overworked support person)? Here are four ways you know it’s time.
1) Sales are Swampy (Stagnant)
(I’m assuming you already know there is a market for your product and service, and you’re confident that your customer service, sales team and pricing are compelling.) If so the problem of swampy sales could well be ineffective marketing.
Here’s one easy way to tell: many marketing consultants offer a free brief consultation. Take a couple of them up on it!
These marketing consultants will take a look at what you’re doing now and offer some suggestions for improvement. You’ll come away with a feel for how much your marketing is holding you back – and hopefully, a feel for which marketing consultant you should work with.
2) It’s Not Getting Done
“We are what we repeatedly do. Marketing, then is not an act, but a habit.”–Aristotle
We get it. You are doing three jobs. It’s tough to get around to marketing. It only makes sense to give priority to the ones that immediately pay the bills or put out the fires. Because marketing takes time and strategy, it quickly moves to the bottom of the pile.
But you soon find out that your business will die if you do not market. So, what to do?
Since marketing is the only thing a marketing consultant does, he or she can simultaneously take it off your plate and make it top priority. Marketing to a marketing consultant is a habit.
3) Hit or Miss are Your Marketing Results
If your marketing results have been hit or miss, you may have come to the conclusion that direct mail, social media, and outdoor marketing doesn’t work for your business. Could the blame instead lie with your shot-gun blast approach? Marketing without strategy is the noise before failure.
A (great) marketing consultant will look closely at your challenges and goals and put together a strategy to overcome those challenges and meet those goals. Over time, the strategy will be measured and refined.
4) You Ponder What is Working
If you suddenly experience an increase in website traffic, phone calls, or new leads, do you know where they’re coming from? If not, you’re likely wasting your time on ineffective marketing strategies and wasting potential opportunities for even greater success.
How are your marketing efforts contributing to website traffic, leads and customers? If you can’t answer that question, then sit back and let your marketing consultant answer it for you.
If you’re currently working with a marketing consultant that’s not delivering the goods, or just want a trusted adviser, one that’s not at all shy about telling you what works, what doesn’t, and how to fix it, then working with me will be one of the most valuable assets you can obtain. Please tell us about your business!
About the Author: Patrick McFadden is the marketing consultant to call when you want a Process and System … not just tools and tactics. He is also an advisor and featured marketing contributor to American Express Open Forum and has been named a marketing thought leader for small businesses.