As a small business owner, you understand that marketing is a significant and critical part of your success. However, with all the other aspects of running a business falling on your shoulders, marketing can easily get lost in the mix—causing you to lose crucial influence in your target market and potential business.
This leads to one of the most challenging business decisions a growing company faces—when and if to hire a marketing professional.
Noe and David, owners of La Fiesta Burrito in Lafayette, Indiana, are currently struggling with this question. While they understand the importance of marketing, they are often overwhelmed by the many moving pieces and choose to set it on the back burner in favor of handling the more immediate tasks that keep their Mexican restaurant running.
In this consultation episode of Priority Pursuit, we discuss the three key areas you can assess that will help you gauge if your business is ready to outsource or hire a marketing professional.
The first area to evaluate is time.
Small business leaders should consider partnering with a marketing agency or hiring a marketing professional when they need to put hours back into their day. This is because many don’t have enough time to spend on marketing or the time to become marketing experts themselves.
As a business owner, you’re pulled in multiple directions and are responsible for everything—including growing your business. But, when things get busy or you have to tend to more immediate things like covering shifts—marketing quickly gets put on the back burner because it’s the easiest thing to drop.
Then, when sales are down, many business owners will make time to jump back in and try to market their businesses. This leads to a lack of a plan, inconsistent branding, confusing messaging, and the promotion of only sales-based content. And, if you remember from previous podcast episodes—no one likes to feel like they’re being sold to all of the time.
To make matters worse, when even this gets to be too much, many small business owners look for someone within the organization to take over marketing—even if that person doesn't really know what they’re doing.
So, if you’ve run out of time and are wearing too many hats to be effective—it’s probably time to discuss a more solid marketing solution than just using your neighbors’ teenage daughter to help you with social media.
The second thing to consider is effectiveness.
Businesses should consider partnering with a marketing agency or hiring a marketing professional when they want to develop a marketing strategy that actually drives consistent growth.
Some small businesses may be able to find time to manage their own marketing, but that doesn’t mean they are getting the results they want. They might even be working with segmented freelancers or an internal employee dedicated to marketing—but their marketing efforts just feel disjointed and unproductive.
This is usually because they don’t have a strategic marketing plan and continue to try one tactic or trend after another—regardless of the lack of results. This prevents consistent business growth, makes marketing more complicated than it needs to be, and simply wastes time and money.
If this is happening, it might be time to explore a conversation about hiring a true marketing professional or partnering with a marketing agency that specializes in small business marketing.
Now, let’s move on to the third area to consider, which is financial stability.
Every small business owner needs more time and wants to be more strategic and effective when it comes to marketing. However, marketing is an investment, and a company needs to be able to financially support a marketing employee or partnership—plus provide the resources and budgets needed to be successful.
We understand that knowing when and who to hire can be a difficult decision.
In fact, many people will tell you that you should hire a recent college graduate because they aren’t too expensive and should be able to handle all of your marketing needs.
However, what they don’t realize is that most new graduates don’t have the knowledge or expertise to oversee audience research, marketing strategy, content writing, design, website development, search engine optimization, social media management, and more. In fact, no one person can be an expert in all of these areas.
On the other hand, other people will tell you to hire an experienced marketer—which may or may not be a better solution than the new graduate. This is because again, a single person can be great at a few things but oftentimes can’t handle the entire marketing workload.
For example, you could hire a marketing manager who thoroughly understands strategy and social media, but they might not have experience with web design. As a result, your marketing manager will eventually need support from other marketing staff or agency partnerships to be successful.
Your third option is to partner with a small business agency. This can be a great solution for some businesses as you’ll benefit from a multitude of skill sets such as strategy, copywriting, web design, search engine optimization, social media, and more—but only pay for the expertise you need.
Essentially, for the cost of just one full-time employee (or a few depending on your marketing needs), you can get access to all of the marketing skill sets you need to implement a successful marketing strategy by working with a professional agency.
Marketing is a significant and critical business investment—which means hiring the right person is more than crucial.
A bad hire or partnership not only wastes precious time and money but can also damage your brand if the business hands over the reins to the wrong person.
When you’re ready to hire a professional to assist with your marketing efforts, start out with someone who can manage a few main areas. This will begin to free up your time and build a stronger foundation.
However, you must understand that you’ll need to be very strategic with what you’re asking them to do, oversee, and achieve. And you’ll have to provide them with the tools and resources needed to succeed—such as strategy, a lead-generating website, software, and budgets.
In previous Priority Pursuit episodes, we’ve given you information on how to create a strategic marketing plan. We’ve discussed the power of clarifying your message, the importance of your Marketing Guiding Statements, and the effectiveness of the flywheel marketing method.
With these in mind, you can build a strong marketing foundation and facilitate the change and growth your business needs to continue to thrive.
Want to hear more?
Listen to the full Priority Pursuit episode (at the top of the page or wherever you listen to podcasts) to hear Kelly chat more in-depth with Noe and David about how to recognize the signs it's time to outsource your small business's marketing. If you would like to learn more about La Fiesta Burrito, you can visit their website https://lafiestaburrito.net/ or find them on Facebook.
Links & Resources Mentioned in This Episode
- Visit La Fiesta Burrito’s Website
- Receive 35% Off Your First Year of HoneyBook
- Save $20 on Your First order from InstaCart of $35 or More
- Learn More About Treefrog’s Small Business Marketing Resources & Services
- Join the Priority Pursuit Facebook Community
- Follow or DM Treefrog Marketing on Instagram
- Follow or DM Kelly Rice on Instagram
- Follow or DM Victoria Rayburn on Instagram
The Priority Pursuit Podcast is a podcast dedicated to helping small business owners define, maintain, and pursue both their personal and business priorities so they can build lives and businesses they love.
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