We work with quite a variety of businesses in terms size and sophistication. Some have invested appropriately in their web marketing and continue to hone the marketing channel, while others are playing catchup and trying to stretch their budget as far as possible. In both cases, we continue to encourage our clients and prospects to think big, even if they don't have the budget for it yet.
Do Something Small Now But Plan For Something Bigger
We are a small business too, so we certainly understand that endless budgets don't exist. We also understand that settling is not a good solution either. With web marketing, you can start with the basics and evolve your presence over time. It's important though to continually budget for and plan growth.
We had the opportunity to meet with the owners of a very niche business this afternoon that was looking to establish their first website. The 2 owners are also the only 2 employees of the business. Both have other jobs, families that they are raising, and no outside investment to rely on. They have grown their small business over the past year and are ready to get started marketing online to reach new markets.
Having just finished their first year in business, they are budget conscious, much like any small business. Although they are budget conscious, they are future-minded. This was something that they brought to the table, not something we pushed on them. In fact, they had been planning this project for the past year. They had an entire binder with ideas and examples of what they want.
We spent the first part of the meeting talking about their current needs, and then we spent a great deal of time talking about where their web marketing could go after that. Again, not something we pushed, but something driven by them. This was a pleasant and very welcomed surprise. They knew where they wanted to start, but had their eyes on the future.
Now And Later
This prospect would like ecommerce for their new site but is also considering starting off using eBay. That is a perfectly reasonable consideration. What was great about the discussion around eBay is that they looked at it as a means to grow into a full ecommerce site of their own.
They also understood the importance of making sure they integrate social media and email marketing up front, even if they move forward with an eBay store for the time being. Having the marketing components established from the beginning will make the launch of their future endeavors much more fruitful.
Keep Your Eye On The Prize
Overall, the key to this story is that they have been keeping their eyes on the prize for the past year, and will continue to as their business evolves. Thinking forward in web marketing is vital. Don't settle and stay in one place. Keep growing. The businesses that succeed with online marketing do so because they are persistent and have more than a one-project plan. They have a multi-year plan to perfect their efforts.