As a small business owner, you’ll be juggling a lot of different tasks, and it’s no doubt difficult for you to find time to learn new skills. However, one area where you should try and develop your skills is marketing. Having marketing skills can help you take your business to the next level, and here are just some of the reasons why it’s an essential area of career development.
It can help you build a business plan
Small business owners will need an effective business plan to present to potential investors or banks, and this should include a marketing strategy. The problem is that unless you can afford to hire a marketing professional at this early stage, it’s you who has to write a marketing strategy and make it sound impressive enough for people to invest in. That’s why it’s worth doing some marketing courses before you launch your business, as it’ll allow you to write something more eye-catching than the usual marketing strategies and really help you push your business forward in those early days.
You’re likely to be the marketing department
In the earliest days of your business, you’re likely to be the entire marketing department, and as all entrepreneurs know, nobody will come along and show you what to do. You have to have the drive and motivation to decide how to do your own marketing, often on a small budget and with little time. There is a lot of information about marketing for small businesses online, which is an excellent place to start, but ultimately it’s worth taking a course.
Small business marketing doesn’t have to be complex
Small business marketing is usually quite straightforward, especially if you’re only focused on the local population for now. You’ll probably use methods such as:
- Social media – whether it’s paid advertising, posting on local groups or building a loyal following, social media is essential to small businesses
- Search engine marketing – SEO and SEM are also important, ensuring your business is visible when people search for it. Find out more about local SEO to ensure that people in your area can find your business
- Paid search – if you want to skip ahead of the competition, then placing adverts on search engines like Google can help your visibility
- Offline marketing – from adverts in local magazines to flyers through people’s doors – you may want to consider doing some old-fashioned marketing
While you may think marketing is complex, and there’s too much for you to take in, the basics of marketing are easy to learn if you have the right tuition. As your business grows, you can keep learning more, or you could take on a marketing professional once it’s affordable to do so.
You can learn marketing skills online
When you’re starting a business, you probably don’t want to go back to college full-time, or even commit to a regular schedule. Luckily, you can study marketing online with course providers such as Emerson College, and if you click here, you can find out more about the courses available and what you’ll be taught. Studying online gives you greater flexibility, so as long as you can commit a few hours a week, you can study marketing and put the ideas you learn on your course into practice.
Marketing changes all the time
If you have an entrepreneurial mind, you may have already taken some marketing classes in the past, or perhaps done an elective in college. However, marketing isn’t a subject you just learn once and then leave. Things are always evolving. In 2005, only 5% of adults used social media, so marketing courses wouldn’t have covered this subject much. Nowadays, nearly 70% of people over 18 regularly use these sites, meaning marketing techniques have changed massively in just a few years.
Consider keeping up to date with the latest marketing news by visiting industry websites or subscribing to magazines, so you can get inspiration for your own campaigns. Look for short training courses on specific subjects too, for example, digital marketing, if you want to work on your online presence.
As a small business owner, you may not be able to afford the services of a marketing expert, so until you’ve grown a little, you’ll need to take control of marketing. When your business is small, your marketing strategy is likely to be simple, but as it grows, you’ll no doubt need to learn more so that you can keep up with the competition and work on more creative, engaging campaigns.
Check out my guide on how to start your business right with tons of useful tips I learned by successfully starting, building, and selling multiple companies.