One of the biggest complaints I hear from small business owners is that they don’t have time to do marketing. What this probably translates into though is that they don’t like marketing; they find it frustrating and they’re not sure where to start. And if I even dare to suggest that ideally you should be doing five marketing activities a day, most owners would tell me that this is unrealistic and there is absolutely no way that they can do this.

But, wait. Before you throw up your hands in horror, let me explain.

Have you ever experienced the horrendous ups and downs of feast or famine? In other words at some point of the year you’re really busy doing client work and at other times you’re so quiet you could scream. I’m willing to bet that when you’re busy, there’s absolutely no way you can find time to do any marketing and when you’re quiet you have no choice but to do some marketing as it’s vital that you get business in.

Most businesses will tell you that the feast or famine is just part of business life and you should get used to it. But, you see – I don’t believe that’s the case. I believe that if you market and promote your business to the same intensity when you’re busy as when you’re quiet, you’ll get business throughout the whole of the year.

You see, it takes time for any marketing you do to work – around two to three months. That means that any marketing you do now will come to fruition in two to three months time. Let’s imagine you’re quiet at the moment and you start marketing your business today. You won’t see the results of this immediately so you’ll keep doing some bits of marketing until you get too busy to do any. If you don’t see any results for two to three months time, that means that you’ll be doing two to three months worth of marketing which will continue to have an effect two to three months after you stop marketing – hope that makes sense.

That’s why I describe marketing as similar to riding a bike – when you’re starting to market and promote your business, it’s like you’re peddling really hard. After you’ve peddled really hard, you can coast for a while, but if you don’t start peddling again, your bike will stop. And then each time you’re quiet in your business, you’ll need to start peddling really hard again.

So, how can you make sure you promote your business even when you’re really, really busy with client work? There are two main ways – either do five small marketing activities a day that you can fit in easily with your workload. Or, get someone else (preferably my company) to do it for you.

Seriously though, this article is all about helping you to help yourself so let’s go through some small marketing activities that you could do each day. Here are my 5 small marketing activities for today. They take no more than an hour and a half to do altogether and have a huge, huge benefit to my business. Is it worth finding an hour an a half to do? Absolutely!

My marketing activities today with the time it took me are:

1) Write this article and publish it on 5 internet sites (30 mins)
2) Send out some follow-up emails from a networking event (15 mins)
3) Make a call to a potential customer (5 mins)
4) Record a radio interview (30 mins)
5) Write a short article to promote my workshops (10 mins)

Tomorrow, my marketing activities are:

1) Go to a networking event (1 hour)
2) Make a call to a potential customer (5 mins)
3) Update my blog (5 mins)
4) Send out some emails to previous clients to see what they’re up to (10 mins)
5) Check on the internet for any relevant tenders for my business (10 mins)

If you really haven’t got time to do 5 marketing activities, try cutting it back to two marketing activities or even one. One marketing thing is much, much better than none!

And if you really haven’t got time to do even one marketing activity, I would have a look at what you’re doing throughout the day. Is there any time that you ‘waste’ talking to colleagues, making coffee, in meetings that you really shouldn’t be in etc? Look at what you’re doing. Are you sure there isn’t even 5-10 minutes that you could spend doing some marketing?