Marketing is to business as a hammer is to a nail. It is a tool, a necessary function to make the other functions work. Just as a nail won't go anywhere without a hammer to drive it, so a small business won't progress without small business marketing to drive it.
Marketing cannot be ignored. More specifically, EFFECTIVE marketing cannot be ignored. Some businesses market regularly but they market incorrectly, and not only is it ineffective, it is a big waste of money. Knowing how to market effectively will be a integral part of the success of your business.
For any product that the creator or owner intends to sell, there is marketing to be done. Of course small business marketing can be much more than the traditional "marketing" we normally think of, i.e., phone book ads or classified ads or the Internet. Marketing can be anything from a conversation on a commuter bus to a prime time television commercial. The key is knowing exactly what marketing is and how it is going to produce revenue for your business.
So what are you selling? You are selling two things: yourself and your product. You will sell these two together, as if they were linked inseparably, because in a sense, they are. When you market, you are also marketing these together, so treat them as if they always go hand in hand.
Every conversation, every agreement, and every work performed will portray, or market, an image of you to business associates and to potential buyers. That image should be of utmost importance to you, because it will dictate how people perceive you. Other's perception of you will affect your profitability, either positively or negatively.
You cannot have one appearance in person and another in media. Well you can, but it won't last very long if you do. You must be the same person in every situation. When first building your business, think of your relation to workers, subcontractors, investors, suppliers and buyers and everyone else as a platform that is establishing your reputation. Your reputation will be manifest in your marketing efforts and I can guarantee you that IT WILL AFFECT YOUR BUSINESS DOWN THE ROAD. What you do on day one will surely have an influence on day three hundred and sixty five. And so on throughout your career.
As people learn of your generous personality and honest business transacting they will remember the person they met and dealt with when later they see or hear the marketing of your product. For someone who is always straight forward and goes out of his or her way to help put deals together and make everyone feel like they got a fair shake, there will be people who will always seek doing business with that person.
And it works both ways, good and bad. For someone who cheats and takes every chance to shortchange the competitor or supplier or intermediary, there will be people who will always avoid doing business with that person.
Through focused and powerful small business marketing, you can have a positive influence by concerted effort and it will bring results back to you.