Most small businesses will come to a marketing crossroad at some stage. Why on earth should they be spending time and money marketing their business when they are already super busy?
I have been asked this question a thousand times and I understand that it can be confusing. Apart from the fact that it is really hard to find time to market when your business is already run off its feet, it just seems to defy logic. But in reality the exact opposite is true for one very sound reason.
The marketing we do today is what will drive our business tomorrow. So whilst we might be really busy right now, it doesn't mean that this will continue.
Many small business have a stop/start approach to their marketing. Basically they only market when they are quiet, gradually things gets busier, so they stop marketing. This produces very questionable results and from my experience it is much more costly.
The best approach to marketing is to be consistent. Always have some marketing taking place even if you are already very busy. Look at it as an investment in your future.
Sure if times are tight financially you might have to cut back on a few marketing activities, but take advantage of having more time on your hands and roll up your sleeves to do more of the marketing that takes time and energy not money, like networking, following up with existing customers and writing new copy for your promotional material.
If you take a longer term, more consistent approach to marketing your business you will smooth out many of the peaks and troughs that cause all kinds of problems with cash flow and staffing. Your business workload will become more manageable and you will feel more in control.
Think about your own marketing. Do you tend to stop/start market? If you do, start to think more long term about your marketing. The marketing you do today will get you customers tomorrow. A change in philosophy towards your marketing is the first step to ending the stop/start marketing cycle. Consistent marketing brings consistent results.