Harsh Realities of Small Business Marketing

In the day-to-day struggle to acquire new customers and clients, we often find ourselves in the whirl-wind of constantly moving on to the next thing without stopping to take a look at what we are doing and why.

In my career working as a marketer and manager for a variety of clients, here are three harsh realities of small business marketing that I have learned over the years.

No One Cares About Your Business

This one is 100% True.

No one cares about your business. No one.

What they care about is themselves. And when it comes to your business, they care about what you can do for them and how you can solve their problem.

This is hard to accept because you pour so much of yourself into your business. It’s almost like people don’t care about you.

However, we can use this tidbit of information to help inform our marketing stategy.

If they want to know how you can help them, that’s what you should focus on. How do you solve their problem?

Are you a gym? “We can help you reach your fitness goals in a fast, efficient way while having lots of fun!”

Are you a hair salon? “We make sure you look good so you can have the confidence to go on that date or land that perfect job!”

Market to the needs of your potential clients, focus on those things.

There’s No Magic Bullet To Get Business

Of course this is true, otherwise everyone would be doing the same marketing tactics to get business.

Every time I see an ad online that promises to completely solve someone’s marketing problems, I am very weary.

Why? Because they don’t.

It’s a harsh reality that marketing for your small business is a lot of work. It’s about trial and error. It is about reviewing the data and deciding on the next iteration of your marketing efforts.

Small business marketing takes time and effort. Time to get to know your target market and finding the right ways to communicate the value that your small business would bring to their lives.

I highly recommend finding a marketer that you can work with that doesn’t just handle one type of marketing. Instead find someone who uses a mix of marketing and tactics to find the one that works best for you.

For example, find someone who can do small business marketing for you that comprises, social media, digital advertising, SEO, email, text message, print, outreach and others.

Shameless Plug, I am such a marketer who can and will work hard to find the right marketing mix that will speak to your target audience, in your voice, to grow your mall business.

Copy & Pasting Someone’s Marketing Doesn’t Work

Bussinesswoman using copier machine to copy heap of paperwork in office

This is one that makes me shake my head.

I have worked as a marketer for a business owner who would say to me “Hey, the other franchises in Texas or Florida are doing X. Let’s do it too. It works for them and it will work for us too.”

Guess what? It NEVER worked for us. Even though we were the exact same company of franchises.

I have also seen this with other businesses. Some restaurants will copy off the marketing of another restaurant.

Guess what? That doesn’t work either.

You can have a dry cleaning business next door to another dry cleaning business, but what marketing works for them will not work for you.

There is no upside to copy and pasting marketing. It doesn’t work. It wastes your time and resources. And, it diminishes your brand by taking the easy way out. No one likes a copycat.


The reality of marketing your small business can be harsh. But, if you focus on your target and primary audience with how you can help them, put in the hard work and analysis without copy and pasting, you will set yourself up for success that is long-term rather than short term.

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