Once upon a time, there was a technology firm that thought they had it all together. They had a couple of good sales folks and two marketing managers. Their website was based on a modern, up-to-date platform. The year was poised for success and growth from a 4m firm to a 5.25m firm. Then, in a blink of an eye, it all changed. One salesperson left and one of the marketing staff left, and now the owners were back to working IN the business instead of ON the business. And with two staff members gone, the remaining staff felt overwhelmed and left behind.
If this situation feels at all familiar, a small business marketing consultant can help. Really. Unlike an ad agency, a website shop, or a marketing tactic fulfillment vendor (e.g., email, pay-per-click, etc.), a small business marketing consulting firm will help you do more than just figure out how to get a few specific things done.
Leading Results recently started working with a company just like the one in the fairy tale. We started our work together with an in-depth two-day workshop that covered company strategy, how they talked about themselves, their short- and long- term goals, and most importantly, their customer buying process.
And then the real work began.
The company had had to put many of their plans on the shelf because they were suddenly lacking resources; we stepped in and helped the current marketing staff accomplish those plans. While this was happening, we were also working with the new marketing manager to redesign the website, update the company literature, and edit the website content. Any changes we made were based on the message testing and customer interviews we were doing for them.
The reality is that business development has fundamentally shifted. The web is driving most initial prospect contact. When it’s not the web, it’s your referral network, and it’s often both. A marketing consulting firm that truly specializes in smaller businesses will focus on how to help you find new clients and will help with things like branding and images. Most importantly, they will look at your customer acquisition process holistically – that is, how the web, social media, content marketing, referral marketing, and traditional marketing all work together within your customer’s buying process.
You will be hard pressed to find all the needed skill sets in a single consultant (or a single employee). You need resources to help with strategy, tactical execution, creating content and using the technology that drives it all today.
Maybe you are the marketing manager. Maybe you are even the whole marketing team. A good marketing consulting organization will help you learn new skills and teach you better ways to get things done. These things will improve your business as well as make your job more secure.
Maybe you are the business owner or director. In that case, a great small business consulting firm will let you focus your energy on the things you need to grow your organizational skills, geography, or profitability.
So how do you know if a consultant will help? Ask yourself these four questions:
1) Are there opportunities or openings in my market that I want to take advantage of but can’t find enough people to do so?
2) Do I feel like I am constantly juggling the outreach to current customers, programs for finding new customers, and building alliances and partnerships?
3) Am I falling behind in using technology to help me find new business?
4) Are my issues primarily due to time and staff constraints and not financial constraints?
If you said yes to all four, we should talk. Or you should at least spend some more time browsing our website, learning about our marketing department service and reading our other posts. We offer a free one-hour opportunity assessment – take advantage of our time and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like one.