Many business owners these days are recognising the importance of having a small business marketing consultant to help recommend the most appropriate marketing activities for their business and to help achieve their business goals.
The role of a marketing consultant however, is not constrained just to marketing. Often they will get involved with all aspects of the business and help navigate some of the difficulties in growing and expanding the operation while working hard to really understand the needs of the customer. Quite often the role of the marketing consultant will help to ensure a smooth and successful operation of the business.
But in order for business improvements to made, the small business owner should also be open to new ways of doing things, where a marketing strategy may assist in delivering new customers, but may require a change in the way a business operates in order to succeed. This means that your marketing consultant may also oversee the way your business adapts to change and performs while ensuring a smooth and successful operation and implementation of any marketing campaigns.
It’s also important to note that a comprehensive marketing plan and strategy should be created from the outset, whereby your small business marketing consultant can help implement the required marketing activities and take your business too the next level.
The Importance of Small Business Marketing
To small businesses, the prospect of hiring a marketing consultant may appear to be a luxury that only the successful operations can afford. However, having this narrow viewpoint is limiting, as every business owner needs a different perspective every now and then, or an external skillset to help with his or her business.
Marketing consultants are experts in their field and can often provide industry tips, the appropriate tools for measuring marketing effectiveness and some guidance to help you stay focused and on track. They will help you make the right business decision, as their primary focus should be to help your business grow, while growing with you at the same time.
The role of the consultant becomes more important especially when you are required to make a critical business decision, where they can help you navigate some of the issues involved. This type of situation allows your consultant to predict a possible outcome or help resolve a solution in the most efficient way. Hence by working with a small business marketing consultant means that you are working with an expert to help you make the right decision for your business.
A small business marketing consultant should endeavor to asses the needs and expectations of your business so they can accomplish the goals set out and within a set time frame. The consultant should be able to collect accurate customer and business data effectively do help implement a targeted marketing campaign whilst measuring the performance and the return on investment. To a lesser extent, but still important, a good marketing consultant will help solve other business problems such as introducing new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, or maybe helping to streamline your inventory system.
But it is important to understand that it is not possible for your marketing consultant to handle every aspect of your business. As consultants are often specialised in very niche fields of marketing such as strategic planning, campaign management or even search engine optimisation, you will need to critically assess their skills and in turn understand if they are the right fit for your business.
How Should a Small Business Marketing Consultant Communicate?
Once a marketing consultant has been given a project or recruited on a more permanent basis, they should focus on analysing the current business issues and identifying potential marketing opportunities. This is typically done using a SWOT analysis, whereby you look at your business strengths, weakness and opportunities/threats that are in the market.
A solution or a plan forward should be presented in the form of oral presentations or written reports. Once agreed, the marketing consultant helps the small business implement the solutions proposed. A marketing timeline and budget should be agreed to from the outset to ensure proper planning and that no surprises are encountered during the process. But a good consultant will also have a contingency plan for those times when things don’t go according to plan.
In essence, the role of a small business marketing consultant is one that requires a lot of self discipline, creativity, and achievement of goals. Although a bit of fun and humour never goes astray and can often help in those stressful times.