Small Business Marketing Plan — Breaking Rules

Small Business Marketing Plan — Breaking the Rules and Thriving

The problem is…

A small business marketing plan can be very different from a marketing plan for a larger business.

Yet schools generally short-change the process of marketing for smaller businesses by shuffling all the big-marketing tools that have little relevance. Or they portray small business marketing as boring, when the opposite can be true.

From our extensive real-world experience developing and (most importantly) implementing an effective small business marketing plan for literally hundreds of businesses of all type, we’ve discovered subtle and not-so-subtle differences between small and larger-business marketing.

One thing we’ve learned that they forgot to tell you in school is that developing and implementing an effective small business marketing plan can be great fun – especially compared to your having to work for a larger company where you may have little control, and where you may not share in the success.

Your Small Business Marketing Plan — Should You Take Risks?

Because smaller businesses have less money and fewer resources, there is a tendency is to be more conservative.

However, taking calculated risks is how smaller companies become larger ones. When we observe successful larger companies, it’s easy to see how a pattern of risk-taking defines them.

IBM spent more than $100mm and ten years trying to develop the Josephson Junction before giving up. This may seem like a fortune. But when you consider it as a portion of their overall revenues, it’s quite small.

Groupon, the Internet coupon company, invested millions on a Super Bowl ad that bombed. Again, they experimented to find the right formula for their success, and sometimes they experience failures on their road to success.

So basically, like the big companies you’ve got to try a lot of stuff to figure out what works.

But where you might consider a smaller company to be more willing to experiment, the opposite is generally true. And that lack of experimenting often limits rather than protects the success of smaller companies.

After all, despite such major failures at IBM and Groupon, both these companies continue to thrive.

Of course your small business marketing plan needs to address financial viability. But understanding how to skyrocket your business to success is also important, and having fun can open your mind to many more possibilities and opportunities.

So-called Guerilla marketing tactics may help, but they do not provide a framework for achieving prolonged success. As if, all you need is a few tactics and customers will start flocking to you in a never-ending flow.

Achieving Massive Success Without Following
the So-Called Rules

Small Business Marketing Plan - Breaking the Rules and Having Fun!
Paul Orfalea, Founder of Kinkos (now Fedex Office) — Breaking the Rules and Having Fun!

I remember having read that,

“He who has the gold makes the rules.”

I often wonder if the so-called rules they teach us in business school are to trick us into thinking small business marketing success is difficult and that business in general is boring, when in fact it is not.

Think about it…

What text book talks about how much fun it can be to run your own successful business?

Kinkos copy centers grew from a single ten-by-ten-foot location into a massively wealthy giant, in a large part by staying open 24 hours-a-day when their competitors closed early.

And Paul Orfalia, its founder, got to hire his friends and family, and have massively fun company picnics.

So yes, having fun can translate to the marketing side for many businesses.

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See Page 2: Thinking Outside the Small Business Marketing Box and Thriving
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