Small Business: Owners Of A Cafe Holding CashI get it. Just like you I am the owner of a business. Mine happens to be a digital agency but no matter what it is, it’s a lot of work. You’re working 16 hour days trying to get your business off the ground or to compete with others in your industry. And even when you start to gain some traction, there is an endless amount of work you still need to do.

You know that marketing is vital to the survival to your business but as a small business owner you will need to work just a little bit harder than the big guys in your industry. I’m here to help you figure out why you have to work harder when marketing a small business, and what you can do about it.

Allocate a Budget

Look, I’m certainly not suggesting that you need a large budget to effectively market your business online, far from it. But companies with bigger budgets have a slight advantage over the little guys. They’re able to advertise across all media, and probably are up to date with various software and social media tools coming up these days.  They’ve even got budgets to pour into Facebook, Google and ads strewn across the internet.

So what to do? Make sure you leverage your happy customers and turn them into loyal customers. Get them to spread the word about you just as much as you do. You don’t need spiffy social media tools to get your customers talking.

You Don’t Know What to Outsource

Going back to the money issue, many small business owners are afraid to outsource some of their work to others because they do not want to spend the money. Another reason is that they don’t have a system in place to be able to outsourced, if they’ve even got that part figured out.

And why is outsourcing important? Because you can free up your time to focus on your business, heck, maybe even learn about new marketing strategies you can implement.  There is a lot of virtual staff finding services out there, all you have to do is look. And seriously, nothing is too small to be outsourced. Look at oDesk or Freelancer as a starting point.

You Don’t Have Branding

Part of any internet marketing efforts, you need to factor in some SEO components. And the truth is, not only does Google favor brands, but so does everyone else.  Unfortunately for you, Google ranks these sites as higher because more people click on it, period. If you want to compete with these brands, you have to make sure your content is worth the time to read.

So what to do? Take a few copywriting courses, or better yet, enlist the help of a copywriter to help you. Learn how to craft clickable social media headlines. And whatever you do, make sure your content is well thought out and put together. Nothing is a turnoff then an unprofessional looking video or lots of grammar mistakes sprinkled throughout your blog content.

The Dreaded Google, Again

Yes, I’m coming back to the issue of size, but bear with me. Chances are your site is newer and smaller that many of your competitors. You might even have less content (nothing wrong with that) overall, which means that if you want to marketing yourself solely on SEO rankings, then there is a small amount of keywords you can really rank for, without making your website seem like spam.

On top of all that, bigger sites naturally attract link building. So the more links, the more likely they’ll be on the first page of Google.

Yeah this can be too much, but focusing on long term SEO goals will help deflect some of that. And don’t forget to turn customers into loyalists. Having people spread the word for you will help you to building more links, attract more visitors, and drive up your rankings, helping you get noticed more.

You Wear Too Many Hats

Bigger companies have different departments that work on one or two different parts of their business. Think of HR, advertising and accounting departments. As a small business owner, you are probably working in all departments. So how can you focus on your marketing efforts when you’ve got so much to juggle? Do yourself a favor and figure out what parts you can outsource, or completely trust one of your employees to do.

You Have a Small Network You Can Leverage

Sure, large corporations have lots of people they can call on, but that doesn’t mean you can’t leverage your own existing network to market your business. Can you team up with a graphic designer so they can get some referrals your way for your social media management business? Or even a cleaning company to recommend your furniture repair company? Team up with people, and if you reward others with business, they’ll most likely do the same with you.

So now you’ve got the knowledge about marketing for small businesses. How you are going to put it to good use?