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Small Biz Owners: Too Spread Out to Focus
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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We've all been there — on our desk we have a to-do list longer than the hours in the day. We try to prioritize, but then we get taken away from the list to address matters that come up in the regular flow of business.

For small business owners, days like that happen way too often.

Yes, a new report released by Pitney Bowes looked at the marketing habits of 500 small businesses. Overall, the research suggests that small business owners multi-task too much, therefore limiting their effectiveness when creating strategy and growing the business.

First, 21% of respondents stated that time is holding them back from running with their marketing activities. Another 36% said that money hindered them from investing in marketing. 

More importantly, though, was how the owners used their time. On average, the report stated that the business owners surveyed were involved in seven different roles a day. From office manager to receptionist, accountant, marketer, new business, financial consultant and HR, it is easy to see how business owners can spread themselves out too thin.

Marketing is crucial when it comes to small and medium sized businesses. So what did owners think about it? According to the study, 77% agreed that marketing is important, but 20% didn't have a marketing plan, and 35% did marketing "on an ad hoc basis."

This is the area where small and medium business owners can get assistance. We, as an industry, can show them how working with a small agency or a marketing freelancer or hiring a marketing person can help them grow their business. Not only would a marketing presence be established, but it frees up the business owner to worry about other things. Owners can now focus on retaining talent, expanding their business practices, and identifying benchmarks for their business. 

Yes, it does mean that the owner will have to give up some power in not doing everything themselves, but that's a good thing. We have to be able to communicate the value in freeing up the owner's time and effort to delve further into strategies and activities that move the business forward.

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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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