Those who start up, own and/or run small businesses are known for having boundless energy, wearing a lot of different hats and multi-tasking like crazy. But in the midst of all this activity, it’s also easy for them to overlook the signs that it’s time to bring in some help.
Specifically, this happens frequently with marketing. Why? Marketing can be fun—a welcome relief from other, more mundane tasks. Business owners also feel a certain pride in the results generated from their marketing efforts. And then there’s the reluctance to let go of at least some of the control.
Experts say that as a business owner, you need to pay close attention to how you’re spending your days. Are you keeping your business goals in focus? Are you concentrating on things that will actually advance the business; things that require your skills and expertise?
If not, it’s time to reassess. Many business owners report that they’ve had to spend an increasing amount of time on marketing over the past couple of years, especially with the rise of social media. If this is you, you may be unwittingly trading missed business opportunities for marketing efforts that a professional could be doing. But what is it that you really need?
Professional marketing services can come in different forms: Should you be hiring a marketing manager? A marketing coach or consultant? A marketing firm? Or even a part-time marketing contractor? You might want to consider dipping your toe into the marketing waters gradually by hiring a contractor for several hours a week. As you gain momentum and your marketing needs become more complex, you’ll probably reach a point where you need different kinds of resources—or even a combination of resources.
Now you’re at the crossroads of a fundamental question: Should you bring a marketing manager on staff or outsource to a marketing firm? In taking on this question, smallbusiness.chron.com provides some key considerations in important areas that can help you decide:
Whether you outsource to a contractor, firm or multiple resources, chances are that eventually you’ll need an on-staff marketing manager. Inc.com offers ways to incorporate some best hiring practices into your search for the right marketing professional. First and foremost, don’t put a current employee in charge of marketing if he or she doesn’t have marketing credentials. Instead, you want to find someone outside your comfort zone who brings new ideas and fresh perspectives to the job.
From creating a job description to determining compensation to attracting and interviewing great candidates, it’s not too early to initiate these thought processes, even if you’re not yet ready to hire. Remember, you’ll be looking for not only terrific skills but also the right temperament and personality to fit your company’s culture. Traits like flexibility, nimbleness and adaptability are worth their weight in gold, as they say, in a small business environment where no two days are the same. Inc.com also digs deeps into things like checking references and other ways to learn about the real person behind the job candidate, insights that will undoubtedly benefit you in all kinds of scenarios.
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