I have an e-commerce store, Kulturally Appropriate, and I’ve had it for a few years now. I started this business with $50.00, some creativity, a dream and no business plan – that’s the truth. Furthermore, not only did I lack a business plan, I had yet to create a marketing strategy as well. My only true plan was to start the business and getting started is sometimes the hardest step to take, for some. I took the big leap, assumed that my friends and family would tell a friend to tell a friend and that my business would be booming in no time – wrong, very wrong.
It’s a naive thought process but hey, what did I know about running a business – nothing and I’m still learning. I’ve probably only garnered about 15% of the knowledge I actually need to not only run my business but to scale it. That’s okay, while I’m running my business life still happens, family, stress, bills and a huge dose of self-discovery amid trying to keep my business above water. But that’s the beauty of working for you, you can take breaks and pick it back up when and if you are ready. There’s no designated hourly commitment or limited sick days but what you don’t put into your business will reflect in your revenue and a lack of a marketing plan will lead to zero revenue.
That said, posting on social media is a form of marketing but it is not a full marketing plan. Yes, you should have an online presence and yes, there are millions of businesses online but don’t let that discourage you – none of those businesses are yours and that’s all you need to know. Moving on, if you are running a business rather it be a brick and mortar business or an online one, you need to designate a certain amount of funds to advertising. That could be Facebook or Google ads, paying for posts on large social media accounts like Spiritual Word, for example, getting brand ambassadors etc. Whatever the case, you need to advertise your business because without advertising you are just expecting your business to somehow get discovered and that’s not a plan, that’s rare luck.
One more time for those in the back.
Whatever the case, you need to advertise your business because without advertising you are just expecting your business to somehow get discovered and that’s not a plan, that’s rare luck.
You started your business to make money and it takes money to make money. There are free marketing resources, I’m sure, like posting on social media and then one of your post goes viral, it’s not an exact science but that’s free publicity. However, that viral moment could yield zero sales because you didn’t strategically target any of those people. The beauty of running ads, for example, is that you can target people who would be or have already shown interest in your business.
Moral of the story, set aside money for marketing and learn how to market your business yourself or hire someone to do it for you – either option is fine but don’t neglect a marketing plan out of laziness or a fantasy of overnight success. Social media is a great marketing tool but posting on there alone is not a marketing plan, it’s a posting plan and it may yield results, it may not. Get focused and get realistic.
You got this, keep going! I don’t care if you started your business 10 years ago and have seen no success, regroup, re-strategize and reactivate!
If you found this article helpful, insightful or just plain old necessary, please share and repost – it’s free and I’d gladly appreciate it. Thank you in advance.