Small Business Marketing: Do It Yourself Vs Hiring Consultants

Sometimes deciding whether or not to hire a marketing consultant can be a challenge for the small business owner. This article looks at the pros and cons of the process.

If you own a small business, you've learned to do a lot of things for yourself, but perhaps you've come to a point in your business life when you're considering handing off your marketing and PR to a consultant. Still, you're not sure if this is the right choice. What are the pros and cons? Should you do your own marketing or hire a marketing consultant once and for all?

Let's start with the "Cons"

There are several reasons you may not want to hire a marketing consultant. You may not have the budget. Let's face, it a good marketing company may be expensive. Preparing a marketing plan, advertising campaign, promotions and public relations strategy takes time, and time is money. Still, there are ways around hiring a large firm to work on your marketing. For one thing, you can hire a college grad, an intern, or a freelancer with less overhead. Some of the most creative minds aren't yet tapped into in comparison to the old dog that's been planning marketing strategies for years. The question to ask yourself is do you want someone more in touch with the times or someone with years experience behind them?

Another reason you may not want to hire a marketing consultant is because you feel you know your business better than anyone else does. You're convinced that you can best write the copy, create the slogans and devise the creative angles and marketing strategies you need to get the job done. This conviction, partnered with the feeling that by the time you've explained your business in detail to the consultant you could have done the marketing yourself, keeps you from calling for help.

One more reason that keeps you from hiring a marketing consultant is that you've witnessed how many other businesses didn't succeed with their marketing plans. You feel as though a lot of time, effort and money went into their plans and the yield was very low at best. As a result, you're skeptical about hiring a marketing consultant and this keeps you in limbo even about implementing your own marketing plan.

Keep in mind that sometimes lack of research on the marketing consultant's part, as well as lack of experience, results in failure. If you plan to do your own marketing or hire someone to do it, be sure to do some market research and testing before spending a lot of money on this, that and the other. Guesswork gets expensive. A good marketing consultant and smart business owner do their homework. They compare data, research and target a specific audience. The guesswork is minimal, or at least should be.

Pros of hiring a marketing consultant

One of the best reasons to hire a marketing consultant is because they are trained to do a very specific and targeted work. Their experience, education and creativity make them great assets in a field where most small business owners know little. A good marketing consultant has been trained to tune into the populace, the buying trends, the market, the ebbs and flows of the consumer, the demographics and etc. This knowledge is worth every penny, especially when you see the difference it will make to your bottom line.

Another reason to hire a marketing consultant is that the consultant will free you from this aspect of the business so you can better concentrate your time on doing what you do best: running your business. You'll have more time to deal with other aspects of the business that may go unattended if you choose to do your own marketing.

Another great reason for hiring a marketing consultant is that it will pay off. You can feel at ease to put your money in a company or freelancer who has a great track record of success. You can get weekly, monthly or quarterly reports on hits to your website, marketing analysis and any other valued information you need without having to dig for it yourself.

And finally, hiring a marketing consultant is tax deductible. Every penny you invest will not work against you, but rather for you come tax season. What else can you ask for?

© High Speed Ventures 2011