My Biggest Challenge in Marketing!

We’re back with another question for our SteamFeed authors – This time we’re discussing challenges in marketing:

As a small business owner, what is your biggest challenge in marketing, and how do you overcome it?


Randy Bowden (@bowden2bowden)


Defining Target Markets: If you want to be successful with you’re marketing you must have a clear idea of your target market, who are they and where can you find them. Develop a profile of who your ideal customer is, include everything you can gather on them and write it down. With a concept of your ideal customer you can prepare a personalized and relevant marketing message to the intended recipients. Each time you are developing or writing promotional messages refer to the profile and it will guide you in your efforts to communicate more effectively with your target market.


David Schwartz (@1ad_dad)

As a small business owner you are expected to wear many different hats – let’s be honest too many different hats. All of the necessary skills to run a successful business are extreme in their nature. For instance, if you opened a restaurant your expertise might be as a chef and so you would understand the back of the house operations. Those skills are very important to a restaurant operator but so is the front of the house, which includes hiring and training the staff to name just a few. Now, how about marketing?

First thing first, set a marketing budget for the first 12-18 months. In my opinion, the biggest challenge in marketing for a small business owner is to understand how to set a marketing budget. Once that budget is set, be sure to understand that you need to spread those dollars out throughout the year. Don’t jump at every offer that walks in the door. Believe me, there will be plenty. Try to avoid long-term commitments. Far too often small business owners spend the majority of their marketing budget in the first 3 months upon opening. Make the right investments, start with CMS (Content Management System) website that is Search Engine Optimized and mobile friendly. Your website should be the hub of all your marketing activity, traffic from traditional or digital communication should all funnel through your site. Keep in mind, a well thought out budget along with a marketing plan greatly increase the chances that your marketing dollars will be spent more effectively.

For more ideas on how to get started, see this post “Stop Spending Without a Strategy“ that includes 10 Basic Steps to get you started with a marketing plan.

Megan Harris (@MHarrisWriter)

My biggest challenge is marketing myself locally and in person. I have a number of great clients, but the majority are in other cities and states. Sometimes, I even work with folks in other countries! I am not a very outgoing person, and marketing in person is difficult for me.

To challenge myself to do it more, I attended a business expo in my city this week and am trying to attend more events to meet people. I’ve made a number of connections via social media and I’m finding ways to meet more people. I think this will help me find more leads, meet other folks and get out of my shell.

What is YOUR biggest marketing challenge as a small business owner? Please leave a comment below!

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  1. DJ, this list could get long but with a limit of one it becomes tough but targeting comes up everytime! David is right, most of "us" wear many hats and as a consultant it is my job to help somewhat with wearing one or two for my clients! Hence, trusting others can be a challenge for SMB's.

    • djthistle says:

      I completely agree Randy! Great insight and thanks for taking the time to share with the SteamFeed community. :)

  2. For me, it's knowing the tech and doing the numbers. Selling is on the list, but most business is via referral so that makes it a bit easier. Time, time, time — always a problem for me.

    • djthistle says:

      Thanks for commenting Jayme! I know what you mean about time. There is just never enough of it. :) I've found the more organized I am, even if it takes up some time to get organized, the more I can get done in a day.

  3. Kate says:

    My biggest challenge at times is follow up. Again probably a "not enough time in a day" excuse. Need to put follow up with prospects or new contacts a priority. I market and go through the process then find I lacked the proper follow thru.

    • djthistle says:

      Kate, yes followup is extremely important. The only way to increase or even maintain your business is taking the time to followup with contacts.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. :)

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