I know I am repeating myself, but a plan is essential for your business. I have said it over and over again, but having a plan really does make so much sense. Of course, before anything is done—renting space, purchasing equipment, creating a brand, creating a logo—a business plan should be written. This comes even before a marketing plan, even though a marketing plan is such an important factor in your success. A business plan will tell you if you should even continue to move forward with renting space, purchasing equipment, creating a brand, creating a logo and all the other things you need to do and purchase.
When you decide to start a business, it is essential that you really look at things with a keen and honest eye. You do not want to underestimate anything when you are putting your plan together and trying to figure out how much money and time you need to fund the business. And I mention time as one of the factors of funding because often, the owner of a small business does everything from marketing, accounting, sales, helping customers, cleaning the bathroom and running the business overall.
Money is always the obvious factor when we talk about funding a business but time is the element that is often overlooked because it is not always associated with a hard cost. Believe it or not, if you underestimate the resource of time, that issue will create as large a problem as underestimating the proper amount of dollar investment in the business.
One of the reasons I am writing this blog post is—I read an article today that was talking about social media being so attractive to small businesses because it is a free form of marketing. Statements like that are true…kind of…but this kind of thinking can lead small businesses, especially those with no marketing experience, to underestimate their true resource needs.
Social media is indeed, free, if the owner of the business is also the employee of the business who is implementing and managing the whole process. But it raises the question—has the proper amount of time been budgeted for this one marketing activity along with budgeting the time and money for events in which you may be participating, blogging, speaking engagements, networking, creating a website, writing and creating brochures or white papers etc. Some of these activities have hard costs like creating a website (unless you do it all yourself), the cost for designing and printing a brochure or white paper (unless you do it all yourself), the cost for participating in an event (booth costs, banners, signs, literature) or the cost of writers for your blog (unless you do it all yourself).
Do you see my point? All these activities have some sort of cost, whether it is truly a hard dollar cost or if it is a cost of your time, which absolutely does have a value. Even though social media is “free” if you do it yourself or one of your employees manages the process, you still must calculate the cost of your time (or that of your employee) and what activity you are not doing in its place. Because you are managing this activity, you are not doing other things like prospecting or working on a customer project. What is the cost of that and should your budget of both time and money been done differently?
Please keep in mind when you are planning a business you must budget both money and time correctly, sufficiently and honestly if you are to be successful.
So…is your business sufficiently funded?
Please contact Anna Brice at Pinnacle Peak Marketing, Scottsdale AZ about Marketing for Small/Medium Business.