If You Build It, Will They Come?

If you were to start a business the ‘right’ way, you would have at least tens of thousands of dollars available for 24 months of living expenses, start-up costs, inventory and marketing.

A more typical situation is this: you have a passion in your soul and you know you can make a business from it. Other people have done it and are making lots of money; why can’t you? So you either got laid off or quit or your kids are now in school and you start your business.

You quickly realize you need to do ‘marketing.’ But marketing costs money and you don’t have much, so you study guerrilla marketing. You learn that you need to do so much – you need a web presence, you need to network, you need to write. You need a blog, PR, search engine optimization and published articles in print and on the internet. You need to do internet radio, internet marketing, publish an email newsletter and speak publicly.

If you did everything the experts tell you to do in their fr’ee teleclasses, you would need to work 20 hours a day every day. Also, you need to know what to say in all your marketing!

So what do you do?

If your budget is small, having a good plan is even more important. Start with an education in marketing fundamentals. Once you fully understand the basics, deciding what to do in your marketing will be so much easier! Your education must have a small business emphasis and should be very interactive.

At the same time, you need to study how others in your industry market their businesses. Be careful here – only study those who you know are successful, and do not compare yourself to others.

Because of all the variables, marketing can be a series of experiments. Your industry, your personality, your investment, your knowledge, your attitude, the economy, your family support – all these and more contribute to the success or failure of your business. Because of all these variables, there is no ‘one way’ to build your business.

Start out by reading books and taking fr’ee teleclasses about starting a very small business, and studying your competition. Hiring a good small business coach will accelerate your education. At this point, you will have a much better idea of what needs to be on your marketing plan, in what order, and when you might need to hire help.

If you stumble along and never invest serious time and money in your marketing, there is a very good chance it will take 3-5 years (or more) to get up to speed and making a profit.

Copyright (c) 2007 Audrey Burton