If you’re a small business owner, you undoubtedly have a lot on your plate. You might just be starting out, which means you’re wearing a lot of hats. You might play the role of the employer, production manager, and marketing “guru” all at once.
But, most people who start their own businesses do so because they either have a specific skill, passion, or a great idea for something innovative.
Starting your own business doesn’t automatically make you an expert in everything, but it might feel as though you have to step into multiple roles right away. It’s understandable to be on a tight budget when you’re a start-up. It’s estimated that even home-based businesses will cost anywhere from $3,000-$5,000 just to get started.
Because of start-up costs, you might not even entertain the idea of working with a digital marketing company. They’re too expensive, right? Or, you think that they’re all designed to work with big businesses and major corporations – not the “little guy”.
In some cases, those stereotypes are true. Unfortunately, many marketing companies avoid taking on small businesses for financial reasons. But, that isn’t always the case. Because small businesses across the country are becoming more prominent than ever, some digital marketing companies are meant to help them.
The good news? You can afford it.
In fact, you may not be able to afford not to.
The Struggles of Start-Ups
There are a few major hurdles almost every start-up needs to overcome. The first is being able to manage your finances. Without financial resources, you won’t be able to move forward with any type of production, hire talented employees, or market themselves effectively.
Even if you do find outside funding for your business, some of the other large hurdles waiting for you at the gate include:
- Managing your time effectively
- Hiring the right people or partners
- Building a solid brand and positive company culture
Forbes lists ‘Marketing and Awareness’ as another big startup hurdle that small businesses need to overcome. Even if you have the money to market, do you have the experience? For most business owners, the answer is no. As a result, any marketing efforts you do try on your own could be wasting your time and resources.
In order for your business to experience rapid growth, people need to hear about who you are and what you do. Some digital marketing companies that specifically work with small businesses can help with that, and do so in a way that promotes your brand and stays within your budget. That’s one less hurdle to worry about!
What Are the Benefits of Hiring a Marketing Company?
If you understand the importance of marketing but you’ve been hesitant to hire one, it’s a good idea to research the benefits. As with any other big decision, weighing the pros and cons can help you make the right choice.
Thankfully, there are plenty of benefits to hiring a digital marketing company, even when you’re just starting out, including:
- A Comprehensive Skill Set – Even if you already have in-house marketing help, chances are their skills are limited, especially if they’re taking on multiple roles in your company. When you work with a digital marketing company, their focus is on growing your business as effectively and efficiently as possible. And, they have the experience, skills, and knowledge to do just that. Quality digital marketing companies know the ins and outs of SEO, social media, short-term campaigns, and analytics that can show you what works and what doesn’t.
- Less Commitment – You might think that working with a digital marketing team means you’re making a huge commitment. In reality, it’s quite the opposite. If you hire one person in-house to work on your marketing or even build your own team, that’s a much bigger commitment. Outsourcing your marketing efforts will not only save you time and money but you won’t feel as “stuck” with them if you need to change directions.
- More Productivity – Having someone in-house work on your marketing efforts might mean things are slower to get off the ground. Working with a digital marketing company, however, can help you to launch your campaigns quickly. Marketing companies spend every cent of your budget on furthering your marketing efforts, and they do so in a timely manner.
- Networking – When you work with a sizable marketing agency, you might find yourself connecting with their other clients. It’s a great way to network, especially in your own industry. You might even find yourself discovering some new partnership opportunities.
This is truly just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the benefits of digital marketing. One of the best things you can do is to actually talk to a digital marketing agency to find out what they offer (but we’ll talk more about that later!).
How Do You Know When You Need Digital Marketing Help?
If your small business has been in operation for a while, you might feel comfortable sticking to the status quo of things.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t always work. What’s worse? You’ll probably see some pretty big warning signs that it’s not working. Maybe you’ve been avoiding hiring a digital marketing company for too long now, and the problems are starting to creep up. If they have gotten to a point where you can’t ignore them, the good news is that it’s never too late to start working with a marketing agency.
So, what are some of the most common signs that you need to hire a marketing agency?
- You’re experiencing stagnant sales
- Your marketing ideas aren’t getting done or launched
- You don’t enjoy marketing so you keep ignoring it
- You’re not sure what is working and what isn’t when it comes to your marketing efforts
There are many potential factors that can play into sales slumps. But, if these warning signs start adding up, you should stop ignoring them. They can have a bigger impact on your success than you might think.
You should also take the time to listen to your employees. Are your salespeople complaining that they can’t get any good leads? Is someone you hired to take care of marketing complaining that they’re overwhelmed? What does the company’s energy and environment look/feel like? If things seem sluggish and no one has any vibrancy or energy, it could be because whatever marketing efforts you’re using simply aren’t effective in helping your business to grow.
A digital marketing company can change that.
Can Your Small Business Afford It?
This is the million-dollar question (no pun intended) for businesses that are considering hiring a digital marketing company. Is it in your budget?
You might be surprised to learn that working with a marketing company can actually end up saving you money, in the long run. No, that’s not just a “gimmick”. There are plenty of ways that a marketing agency can save you money.
First, it will help you to free up your time.
You have a business to run, after all! You shouldn’t be worried about taking care of marketing by yourself or constantly checking in on someone who is doing it for you in-house. When you can devote more of your time to your business, you’ll be able to work on growing it in different ways.
Additionally, a marketing company can help to keep your payroll costs down. Hiring just one person to take care of your marketing can be expensive. But, hiring a whole team involves payroll, benefits, payroll taxes, and so much more.
Consider the skill sets that would be needed on your marketing team to keep up with the skills of a full-fledged marketing company. You should have people on staff that are experts in the following fields:
- Content writing
- Web design
- Social media
- Graphic design
Keep in mind that those positions typically make salaries between $50,000-$85,000 per year. Now, compare that what you would end up paying for a marketing agency. The cost doesn’t even compare, and you will still likely end up getting better service and seeing more success with a marketing company.
Making Money With Marketing
In addition to saving you money, a digital marketing agency’s job is to make you more successful. It’s estimated that 1 in 5 small businesses don’t utilize digital marketing at all. So, if you do, you’re already going to be one step ahead of some of your competitors.
Beyond that, though, digital marketing is meant to spread your brand as far as you want it to go. If you have an e-commerce business, for example, you should want to market yourself across the globe. A marketing team can help to create the right kind of engaging content that will get people interested in who you are. A digital marketing company will ensure everything from a quality website (optimized for mobile) to social media posts that are conversational and engaging.
One of the best things about working with a digital marketing company, though, is that most of them are eager to offer you as much data as possible. Digital marketing makes it easy to learn about analytics. That means you will be able to see very clearly which strategies work, and which ones don’t.
Marketing experts can look at analytics and tweak everything from your target audience to their approach. But, you’ll be able to see all of it instead of just making a guess. That “tweaking” and adjusting of your marketing efforts will help to tighten up your campaigns, make your business more appealing, and ultimately help you to make more money.
What to Expect
If you finally do decide to work with a digital marketing company, it’s important to know what to expect. Not all marketing companies are created equally. So, consider some of the things you think your business truly needs to “get off the ground”.
Modern marketing companies should be able to provide you with a comprehensive strategy. You need to be “in the know” when it comes to what they plan on doing. A marketing team working for your business should have knowledge in everything from market research to SEO, and everything in between.
But, what can you expect when you actually work with one or hire them out for your business? A partnership. A relationship. You should both be on the same page about most things when it comes to your business and success. They might have ideas that you didn’t think of, but remember it’s your business, in the end. If you feel as though you can’t form a solid foundation with an agency, it’s time to look for another one.
How to Know Which Digital Marketing Company is Right for You
With so many digital marketing companies out there today, it can be overwhelming to see them all and find the “right” one for your business. To make it easier, however, there are a few things to keep in mind when you’re searching:
- What is their track record with your specific industry?
- Do they have experts who can connect with your target audience?
- How long have they been around?
- How have they helped other small businesses?
It’s okay to ask these questions when you’re searching for a marketing company. Remember, if you do hire a company, they are there to work for you. Asking them questions beforehand is similar to a job interview or going over a resume with a potential employee. You will always want to make sure they’re the right fit for your business.
If you’re looking for a digital marketing agency that can answer your questions, offer expert advice, and help your small business to grow and succeed, consider Fusion Marketing. Feel free to browse our website or contact us for more information about our services or to learn about our history. We’re always happy to talk about how our digital marketing expertise can take your business to the next level without blowing your marketing budget.