I am just wrapping up my attendance at the Sage Insights conference in Nashville. It is a conference for Sage VARs/resellers and vendors. We had a Duct Tape Marketing booth at the trade show part of the conference.
Myself, John Jantsch (founder of Duct Tape Marketing) and a couple of other coaches got to talk to many of the Sage VARs and we made a few interesting observations:
- There is a lot of small business talent out there that is not being fully realized.
Loads of people who came to our booth told me, “if only people knew about us, we would be doing great”. I love it when people tell me that because it means they believe they are offering a great service. I like working with people who want to please their customers. It also means I can usually help them. Their problem is one of creating awareness – of getting the word out and there are lots of tools that we can deploy to do that
- More than can be done than often you might expect
We also found some people who have almost given up on their marketing. From what I can see, this happens when business owners do their marketing in an unstructured, almost random way. They usually haven’t taken the time to build a strong foundation in refining their target market and creating a strong and consistent marketing message. As a result their marketing tactics fail.
I also find there are business owners who quickly dismiss some potentially very helpful marketing tools. We talked about Twitter for example and while Twitter might not be for everyone, there can be some good business applications that they were unaware of.
- Lack of Time
Some of the Sage VARS we met told me that they know they need marketing help but they are not prepared to spend time on their marketing. I know how busy the average small business owner can be. I have the same challenge. But we are talking about the long term health of the business. Spending time on your marketing is not optional if you want to grow. You always have to be filling the pipeline with prospects. When business suddenly slows is not the best time to start. Marketing is an investment not a cost. The time you spend on the right marketing will pay back dividends in the future. Part of my role is to help clients make the best use of their time. I help them stay on track and create effective marketing programs.