1. There’s too much to do and not enough time to do it

Chances are you did not get into business to design ads. But once you are running a business, you do have to think about advertising. That’s on top of all the other things you must manage to operate a business — payroll, customer service, and producing a quality product, etc. Many of my clients say they’d love to spend more time thinking about marketing, but there simply aren’t enough hours in the day. The result is most business owners ignore marketing until there’s a problem (no customers, no revenue, etc.). This results in “panic marketing” at the last possible second that results in so-so lead generation.

The Fix: Set aside time each week to think and plan for your marketing. It doesn’t have to be a lot of time. Maybe just an hour. But carve out the time and identify one or two priorities. Maybe it’s a pay-per-click search campaign or a radio ad campaign.

  1. I’m not on social media

You may not be on social media, but the rest of the United States is. Seventy percent of Americans report using Facebook. Eighty-one percent are on YouTube. Ignoring social media is like saying, “I don’t understand those new-fangled lightbulbs. I’ll stick to candles.” Okay, that sounds harsh. But really! It’s 2021. Social media is here to stay.

The Fix: If you don’t have any interest in social media, find someone who does and have them set up at least one social media account for your business. If your business doesn’t have a presence on social media you.are.missing.out.

  1. The finished product is not what you envisioned

Oftentimes, small businesses rely on media partners to create ads for them. In the creation process, the partner runs off, seeks very little input and delivers a concept right before a deadline, giving the business owner no time to customize it.

The Fix: Get deadlines from anyone you advertise with and insist on seeing concepts at least a week before the deadline.

  1. You ran an ad once and it didn’t work

Here’s a hard truth: One ad is not going to get you results. Advertising works over time. You can’t expect results in one week or one month.

The Fix: Create a marketing plan that commits to a budget that allocates spending throughout the year and has at its core ads that run consistently over time.

  1. You hired a marketing consultant and could never get a hold of them

Consultants are really good at making promises. I should know. I’m one of them. If your consultant says things that sound too good to be true, be skeptical. If you aren’t getting the level of engagement you expected from the consultant, don’t blame yourself. It’s your consultant’s job to get face-time with you.

The Fix: When I work with clients I commit to regular meetings (typically monthly) to review the status of projects. If your consultant isn’t willing to schedule regular check-ins, find yourself another consultant.