The United States Small Business Administration (SBA) defines a small business of having less than 500 employees. There are about 30 million small businesses in the USA give or take a few gray hairs and sleepless nights of other business owners. The SBA has a ton of statistics on small businesses. Once you read through a chunk of the findings, you’ll soon realize the vast majority of businesses in the US are small.
Working out of homes, no or very few employees, low revenue breakdowns and longevity in business all point to one thing; the realization that not all businesses are publicly traded or working on an international platform.
Yet, some small businesses want to appear big and some big businesses want to appear small. Isn’t anyone happy with whom they are??? And here is where Marketing and Sales enters into the picture.
Growing a small businesses or the jumbo international variety is the key challenge for the CEO wearing a $10,000.00 handmade suit or the guy putting on the same t-shirt for the past week. Sales. Growth. Business Development. Whatever you call it, they all need to get new customers/business to grow.
While an age old debate stills runs today of which came first, the chicken or the egg, there is another debate that has always been brewing in business for decades; the marriage or separation of Marketing and Sales.
Lines have been drawn in the sand in boardrooms and around kitchen tables about who runs who between marketing and sales and who is more important for the future of the business.
Maybe it is my interpretation but some of the articles I read about the marriage or separation of marketing and sales roles or who should report to who, give me the impression that they assume their theories and solutions are for all businesses in general. I may need new reading glasses but each size business should have their own solution.
Unfortunately, budgets in small businesses are at times as hard to find as are the customers the businesses are looking for. While huge businesses may have the luxury of separate marketing and sales departments albeit fighting with one another for supremacy, they do have that resource and benefits that come from them.
Maybe having someone in a small business that is responsible for both marketing and sales , a hybrid if you will, to even out the bumpy road towards new business may be a solution. Too often, the business owner tosses those two hats on their head as well.
If a business is to a size where you can have someone take on a growth role, call the person Marketing Development or something else but at least the disciplines of marketing and sales fall under one umbrella. And for a small business, having agility trumps a bureaucratic organizational chart. See what the big guys are doing. Educate yourself to see what they are doing and how it can be applied into your business.
As an example, Big Data is, well… big in business. Get every single ounce of data from your clients is the rage for most big businesses. Small guys can’t dedicate the time/cost to acquire that info of their customers. But as an alternative, start small in your collection process but do start. Start your Small Data collection. Add more data over time when possible.
Businesses have never had the technology tools given to them to help grow their business as they do today. And tomorrow, tools will even be more amazing. But ironically, with all the technology at hand and all businesses need technology at some level to grow, small business survive many times on the word of mouth of satisfied customers. Talk vs Technology. Small vs Big. Old vs New. I guess the big businesses can learn from the small businesses as the small businesses can learn from the big businesses.
Big or small, keep reaching to grow.