Recently, I read a comment about sleep deprivation.
“Sleep deprivation is an illegal torture method outlawed by the Geneva Convention and international courts, but most of us do it to ourselves.”
As business owners, we lie awake at night thinking over things we couldn’t find time to think about during the day.

On one of my own sleepless nights, I posed the question in my head “What is the one thing in marketing keeping you awake at night?” I surveyed some business colleagues the next day. The answers, while not surprising, made me sit up and start to think how we can help our colleagues in business answer these questions.

“I am not sure how to differentiate my business in the market.”
This is a familiar story from many small business owners. I am sure we know why we are better than our competition, but we are not sure how to clearly spell it out. You have a great product but trying to cut through crowded markets means spending some time trying to understand what it is you are best at.  Where you are emotionally or financially invested in your business, it can be hard to be objective. Having someone to offer you a pragmatic view can be a great help.

“I am really busy with the ‘doing’ part of my business.”
More often than not, we forget we have to be bold enough to understand our niche, and to build our marketing efforts around it.   The niche is often the reason we create a new business. We identify a market gap or believe we can do something better or differently. Having the temerity to be bold and really make the effort to stand out can sometimes be sidelined by making a living or paying the rent. Being reminded why you initially went in to business is important for success.

“I seem to struggle to find the time to do the marketing, to know what I have time to do and how to go about it.”
This is not an unusual response and we see it often. When you are busy making something, doing something or putting your very best skills to use, finding the energy to market really well is hard. Finding the right support is a wise investment in your success.

“Making the time to sit down and write content.”
When you are a one-man band, or a small business where time is limited, making the time to write content or creating a schedule and sticking to it can be challenging. When more pressing needs present themselves, or clients have new deadlines, we often put our own tasks on hold. Making the decision to bring in a marketing partner now can save money in the long run – you can get it right the first time.

“I don’t know if I can afford to pay for help.”
This is probably the most challenging of all questions.  How much should you spend on marketing? There are many experts who suggest between 7%-20% of your annual turnover should be spent on marketing.  We suggest you should consider a spend around 10% of your annual turnover.  Some organisations benefit from a full audit and update of their marketing collateral and tools, others need a website update, while some businesses are better served by spending their marketing budget in the social and digital space.

We will be exploring these subjects more thoroughly in future posts. As a business, we have been through each of these challenges ourselves. Knowing you are choosing the right marketing partner is important. You don’t want someone to dump and run but a longer term, strategic relationship to partner with you. We choose to invest in our clients, to support them in the whole process. Whether you are a start-up needing good advice from day one, an established brand contemplating a brand refresh, or if you simply can’t find the time to invest in your marketing, we can help.

The solution to not keeping yourself awake at night worrying about marketing is simple. Pick up the phone and ask us how we can help you sleep better.  We don’t charge for phone calls.

By Kerri Eckart, CEO