If you browse your local library or bookstore you'll find many books on small biz marketing. Some offer helpful tips and advice to newbie business owners and veterans alike. However, too many experts gloss over the realities that small business owners face when trying to implement their marketing suggestions. Here are 4 realities that small biz marketing books won't tell you:
1. A Large Number of Businesses Fail
One reality that no up and coming business owner wants to think about is that the vast majority of businesses fail within three years of starting. No matter how brilliantly your direct marketing efforts, or how much money you've spent on marketing tools, you must face the fact that you could fail in business. The emphasis then should not be on implementing countless marketing strategies, as much as on learning how business works and how to avoid failure as much as possible. If you spend all your time reading marketing books and not enough time on how to keep your business going for three, five or ten years, you'll be wasting your time.
2. People Hate Junk Mail
No matter how appealing the copy for your sales letter is, many people hate getting junk mail. They trash them, and worse, remember you as the business owner that stuffed their box when they didn't ask for your letter. This doesn't mean you shouldn't make direct marketing a part of your strategy. It's just one more reality that many small biz marketing books fail to mention or downplay. They make it seem as if enough people will read your letter or postcard if you just make it catchy enough. You then spend money on copywriters or hours writing material yourself, only to learn that if 1% respond, you were successful.
3. Affiliate Marketing Takes a While
People won't purchase from you the first or ninth time just because you've recommended a book or product for them to buy. Many visitors to your blog or website hold tight to their wallets, especially during hard economic times. No amount of prodding will get them to act. You need to face this reality if you're expecting to make money within the next couple of months from affiliate revenue. A few have been successful right away, but it takes a year or two before most people start earning money to pay for living expenses.
4. Marketing Research is not Academic
Some of the small biz marketing books make marketing research too academic. You can crunch the numbers, read your competitor's website and research Google Adwords and still not even come close to what you should charge for services or whether there's a true demand for your services or products. The reality is that there's a real world of business where many of the rules in books just don't apply. Your research might tell you that there's a demand for your widget, but when you go to sell them, no one buys.
If you acknowledge these realities that small biz marketing books leave out, and find ways to solve the problems posed by them, you'll do fine in business. If you ignore them and keep your head in the books, you'll head down the path of failure fast.