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Do Small Businesses Really Have Time For Marketing?

I reviewed a consultant’s LinkedIn profile the other day and after I had emailed over the report, we arranged to speak on the phone to go through my advice and recommendations.

Unfortunately, to make his LinkedIn profile work harder for him, it became apparent that this consultant was trapped by the “time excuse”.  He felt he was so busy he didn’t have the time to make the necessary changes I had recommended.  It was a Catch 22.  He knew LinkedIn could prove to be a profitable marketing platform for him – many of his target clients where active users.  But even though his profile was poor and if a potential client was to Google his name, it would probably put someone off from contacting him, he felt he didn’t have the time to do anything about it.

He wanted new clients, but was too busy with day-to-day “stuff”.

But was time the real reason for not taking action?

Probably not!  As small business owners, it is easy to feel there is not enough time in the working week.  But if a new client was too call you’d make the time to speak with them, wouldn’t you?

Time is not genuine excuse for not getting on with your marketing.  And I think the reason why you may use the time excuse is that you don’t really know what you should be doing first.

You have no plan of attack.

It’s too easy to wade through hundreds of emails that have been stacking up in your inbox.  Perhaps you have lots of paperwork and invoices to send out or sort out.

These are just excuses.  If you have no plan of attack, then it’s not surprising that all your good intentions are just left by the wayside.  It’s not surprising that you will find yourself at the end of each month having drifted along, not having attracted any new clients or moved ahead with any new projects.

So, before you let yourself drift through the next month and allow your competitors to be one step ahead of you, follow these simple steps.

Step One.  Get Clear on Your “Big Plan”. Where do you see your business in 6 months or 2 years?  What do you want to known for in your industry?  What product, programme or book do you want to create before next year?

Step Two:  Map Out Your Journey. Your “Big Plan” is your long term plan.  However, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed before you’ve begun the journey, if you have failed to chunk your plan down in to more manageable time frames.  It’s easier to climb several hills than go straight for Mount Everest! Good milestones to have are 3 months, 6 months and 1 year.

Step Three:  SMARTen Up Your Milestones. Classic goal setting tips here!  Make sure each milestone is SMART.   SMART means Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timescale.  If each of your milestones can be each of these, then you have a great goal that is easier to achieve.

Step Four:  Create Your 3 Month Action Plan. By focusing now on just your 3 month milestone (rather than your “Big Picture”) you should find it far easier deciding what to actually do over the coming weeks.  Remember though, this isn’t a to-do-list (that’s for your daily brain dumps).  I suggest no more than 3 daily, 3 weekly and 3 monthly actions because this is will ensure your plan of attack is simple and easy to follow (and will also allow you to manage other parts of your life so you are not working 24/7!).

Step Five: Diarise Your Action Plan. Work out how long your daily, weekly and monthly actions should take you and diarise 30 minute or 1 hour chunks in to your diary.  It can be tough allocating a whole day every week to marketing.  Little and often fit better in to a working week.

Follow these five steps and the time excuse will no longer be needed as you will now know exactly what you need to do get on with your marketing.

As for the consultant I mentioned earlier – I’m looking forward to seeing what he has managed to achieve from my checklist in the one hour chunk I challenged him on!

If you want help in chunking down your “big plan” or even with the “big plan” itself, then call me on 01428 607745 or click here for more information on how working with me could help you and your business.

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About the Author: Karen Skidmore helps small business owners work smarter and use the right marketing tools so they can attract more of the right clients to their business. To subscribe to her free email newsletter and get access to practical advice and marketing ideas that will move your business forward, visit www.CanDoCanBe.com

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