Small Business or Big Brand: You Better Have a Marketing Strategy

“[O]ne of the biggest errors I can attribute to small business failure is by way of not having any standardized models to operate the business and then sufficiently following those models step by step, like clockwork.”

This quote jumped out at me as I was reading the article titled, “How Small Businesses Can Think And Operate Like Big Brands” and it made me think about how I operate my business and whether or not I have put the correct processes in place. But it also made me think of those small businesses with whom I work. How many of them have clear “standardized models” that dictate their day-to-day operations? How many of them operate, as the author suggested, like a big brand?

And while the article was specifically talking about internal and customer-facing operations, I couldn’t help but extend the application to marketing practices. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that all too often I see small businesses (SB) operating with a “shotgun approach", rather than operating off a clear strategy with defined tactics. Far too many SB’s approach marketing without a clearly defined strategy or goal. By defining your marketing tactics before you start, and then refining as you go, you ensure that every activity is tied, and can be measured, to specific goals and targets. This makes it easier for you to measure the ROI for your marketing spend, which makes it easier for future planning and growth.

The author concludes the article by saying, “If you want to build a great brand in this day and age, stop acting like a small one... Just because you are not that world known name brand yet, doesn't mean you shouldn't act like one.” I tell my customers that this mentality should apply to every aspect of your business, from customer service to marketing, and it begins with a clear strategy and process.