Why SMEs need to know marketing and when to act

Marketing for SMEs can be a difficult thing to get right. It can be both time consuming and costly; factors that small businesses can ill afford.


Many small business leaders will know that marketing is an essential part of growing any business yet many devote too much time to it as they lack the necessary skills or experience.


This is according to Elance-Odesk, an online marketplace which has revealed that spending too much time marketing could actually be harming businesses.


When asked, nearly half of 400 small business owners believed marketing was a key part of a successful growth strategy while gaining new business while public relations were also deemed important.


Despite this, 46% said they spend too much time on marketing, meaning it is not a cost-effective process for the business.


This is simply because the business owners lack the skills or marketing awareness to ensure that time is used effectively.


It can be difficult for those in small start-ups and businesses to relinquish control and give tasks to others but doing so means their focus can be placed on other more important aspects of a company.


Keeping finances in order for example will be a major driver behind any business growth, and a firm could face insolvency if all business processes are not adequately completed.


One of the reasons why owners are not willing to delegate tasks is because they feel their staff lack the necessary skills – highlighted by nearly a quarter of those questioned.


However, many of the businesses were unwilling to invest in training courses to ensure that staff were able to complete these tasks.


According to the research, failing to delegate tasks was a negative impact on businesses with 30% of owners saying it was preventing growth.


Just 5% of respondents said they delegated at the right time too, meaning the negative consequences were felt in many cases before any actions were taken.


By Phil Smith


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