The biggest marketing challenge for small businesses [and how to solve it]

Marketing. It’s not the biggest word you’ll come across in business, but few have such a vast scope, taking in everything from public relations, social media, blogging, case studies, events, news… I could go on, but you get the idea. 

What’s also astonishing is the number of companies that have spent years building up a great reputation (and six-figure turnovers) through word of mouth who find their marketing efforts aren’t bearing fruit. 

I’ve spoken to lots of business owners about this, and the problem is almost always the same: their marketing department is simply overwhelmed. I can help ease the load and get your business growing, but in the meantime, let’s break this down a little further, shall we?  

One person does not a department make

It often happens that a business turns its marketing over to a bright-eyed graduate who is eager to show off their social media credentials. Or, it’s someone within the firm who’s been lucky enough to inherit or collect this work, despite not having a marketing background. 

The company knows it has reached a tipping point, where it has to start cutting through the noise, gain clarity of message and audience, and traction in reaching its target market. Until now, everything’s been a bit on-the-hoof, from sporadic social media posting to doing the odd event, with no real view of the big picture. 

So, their manager tells them they’re responsible for internal and external marketing, covering everything from posting on every social media platform, plus blogging, plus the weekly newsletter, plus updating the company website. 

Because there’s no overview or strategy, what nobody realises (usually until it’s too late) is that it’s a massive amount of work, and in no time at all reality will kick in. Suddenly, your bright-eyed graduate or veteran colleague will be spread so thin they’ll be able to do little more than pay lip-service to your customers and churn out sub-par content. 

That means your business can’t and won’t grow, no matter how much pressure you put on the marketing department. So, what’s the answer?

Reset and rethink

It’s time to stop assuming that one person can effectively handle a business’ entire marketing and look at the bigger picture. How can you move beyond referrals for your company and reach a wider audience with a persuasive message? As always, it starts with the fundamentals: 

First, you need to understand your business

  • What does it offer?
  • How do you stack up against local/national competition?
  • Do you meet a customer need?

Then you must know your audience

  • What do they really want to buy?
  • Can you meet their needs?
  • Can you bring them back again and again?

When you have answered these important questions, then you can start separating them into pillars of activity. This is where I come in! 

I help companies understand what marketing should look like for them. I work with business owners and their marketing teams to help them understand how they can be much more strategic and effective in what they do. This support comes in two forms:

1. A strategic marketing consultant who coaches and guides businesses owners and marketing teams to help them develop a marketing plan that works for them.  For many of my clients I meet the owner and their marketing team every month for a strategy and planning session – and that’s all.

2. As above but with added ‘done for you’ services, such as content planning and content creation.

Taking back control 

Setting out achievable goals every month will not only stop your junior marketing employee from burning out and their manager from losing their mind, it will also bear fruit – and faster than you might imagine. 

A clear framework enables your marketing department to understand the reasons behind each task, and how they fit into your business’ bigger picture. It will clarify how to get the most from content by boosting their understanding of how to cross-fertilise each pillar of your marketing strategy, optimising the resources you choose to deploy, maximising exposure for minimum effort. 

As the strategy develops, so will the momentum. Before you know it, everything will start falling into place and the growth will start. 

If any of this has resonated with you, then we need to talk! Whether you’re interested in a marketing strategy session or a strategic-level collaboration, you can contact me at

About the Author Lindsey Moore

Lindsey Moore has spent the last 15 years growing, advising and empowering small businesses. These conversations aim to provide inspiration, motivation and energy to those looking to start, scale or pivot their business, by hearing the stories of others who have been brave, followed their heart, kept their nerve and grown something quite remarkable.

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