A lot of small business owners getting started in marketing their services, often make one very big mistake – they get distracted and overwhelmed by all of the options for marketing their business available to them. There are so many ways to market a small business, 100’s if not 1,000’s of options… it’s easy to see why small business owners lose their focus.
Options are great, but without a system or plan for how best to take advantage of those options, they’ll quickly become overwhelming.
The problem with so many options is people have a tendency to dabble in a dozen or so different marketing activities without making an impact with any one. Doing this spreads your budget and your efforts too thin.
The solution to jumping from one marketing activity to another is something I call the principle of strategic diversification. It’s a way for you to achieve balance between diversifying your marketing activities and staying focused and consistent in your efforts.
You won’t put all your eggs in one basket, but you won’t put them in 1,000 baskets, either. You’ll make the most of your marketing budget and your time as you consistently attract clients. When it comes to marketing your small business, strategic diversification REALLY works.
What is Strategic Diversification?
Strategic diversification is a focused, manageable approach to marketing that makes the most of your time and budget. You’ll follow more than one marketing path, but not too many. Instead of feeling scattered and overwhelmed, you’ll focus on and master a only few marketing activities at a time.
As a small business owner, one of your biggest challenges is time. Trying to do everything is impossible, if you want to succeed… you have to learn how best to allocate your time.
Strategic diversification is about eliminating the “all or nothing” attitude towards marketing many business owners feel they should take. You don’t have to “do everything possible” to market your small business. Instead, you only choose a handful of activities and do them very well.
Why Diversify at All?
While a lot of small business owners spread themselves too thin across a huge variety of marketing activities, many, many others swing too far in the opposite direction… by relying on only one marketing activity to bring in business.
If you rely on only one marketing tool or activity to attract clients, you’re putting yourself in a very dangerous position.
What if that one activity stops working, then what? Strategic diversification protects you from going bankrupt if you suddenly find your one marketing activity isn’t bringing in business like it used to.
This happens more times than you may think. In fact I know of a handful of small businesses that have really struggled this year, because they relied on referrals and only referrals for clients. When the referrals slowed down — or for some, dried up completely — so they were in big trouble.
Get Started with Strategic Diversification…
Simply choose between 3 and 6 marketing activities to focus on. You need at least 3 activities to be sure you’re covered if one dries up or slows down.
And, when you’re a solo professional, you don’t want to choose more than 6 activities or you’ll feel overwhelmed keeping up with all of them.
It’s up to you to choose which 3 to 6 marketing tools or activities you focus on at first. If you don’t already have a comprehensive website for your small business, that may be a very good place to start. Other options include direct mail, writing and publishing articles or an ezine, or joining a networking and referral group.
Whatever marketing tools you choose to start with, they should be something you’ll enjoy committing to for the long haul. Choose marketing activities and tools that make sense to reach your prospects (if a prospect would never look in the Yellow Pages for a business like yours — why do Yellow Page advertising).
Lastly, you’ll need to allow yourself time to focus on developing your skills to master an activity before moving on to something else. Too many business owners, choose an activity, work on it for a few weeks and then choose something else. Keep your focus and give an activity time to begin working before you jump to another.