Network Solutions, LLC and the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business recently teamed up to conduct a baseline telephone survey of 1,000 small business owners with the goal of taking the pulse of small businesses and track their competitive health over time.
American small business owners scored highest in customer service and compliance (defined as the ability to understand and comply with laws and regulations, including ensuring data security).
The study gave small businesses the equivalent of a "C-" in the Marketing and Innovation. According to the study:
“Small businesses are not as successful as they would like to be in effectively marketing themselves to grow their business beyond their current size.”
According to the report, small businesses can improve their competiveness grade by ramping up its Internet business solutions. “Internet business solutions” include more than just a website, but also making a commitment to online advertising, allowing customers to view and order products online, providing email customer service and self-service options to customers.
We Duct Tape Marketing coaches, are big believers in harnessing the power of the internet when it comes to small business marketing. While some of the conclusions of the report may seem a little self serving given what Network Solutions sells, I think the advice related to creating internet business solutions is sound – when viewed in the context of creating a marketing system.
Websites, blogs, social media, etc., can all be effective marketing tools. However, one of the easiest ways to waste money and become frustrated trying to market your small business, is to charge into implementation before developing a sound marketing strategy.
If you would like to be more successful in effectively marketing yourself to grow your business beyond your current size, create your marketing strategy first, and then search for the tools and tactics to help you implement that strategy as efficiently and effectively as possible.
You can find the report referenced above in NetworkSolutions Research Library.
Bill Brelsford Small Business Marketing Consultant