Thanksgiving: What It Means to Us as a Small Business
As of Thanksgiving this year, our marketing agency will be roughly a year old since we fully entered the market and began offering what, today, makes up our core services. At a time when many businesses face uncertainty or have folded due to the pandemic or other reasons, we’re thankful for a lot of things – the clients we’ve been able to get to know and help, the always interesting work, and the fact that we’ve been able to grow a bit to now employing different contractors to support our efforts.
We’re in a position to do what we love and try to help support small businesses do what they need to do to better compete and prosper. We know it’s not easy. According to recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 20 percent of small businesses fail within the first year. By the end of year two, 30 percent of businesses will have failed. By the end of the fifth year, about half will no longer exist.
The Uneven Playing Field for Small Businesses
The truth is, the deck is stacked against many small businesses. If you’ve ever leased an actual storefront, for example, there’s a reason only banks or McDonald’s can survive in many cities because the rents are too high and the margins too low for any small business to compete. Raising capital in the form of loans can certainly help, but taking on debt is often a huge risk. Venture money? Sure, but only fraction of small businesses can actually get that kind of seed capital.
In marketing, our field, big players have huge advantages when it comes to advertising and branding, access to better technology, data scientists and teams of people who specialize in doing one thing. Can you imagine a small business being able to employ a data scientist, even if they know how such insights could improve their business? Probably not. Instead, many small businesses find themselves having to scrape and claw their way to every single sale they make. We’ve seen a number of businesses where this is the case.
So, how do you get away from that reality? The honest answer is that there might not be one single solution. In other words, it might be more complex, the products or services might need more time to take hold, or changes might need to happen in more than one area. That’s a hard thing for many businesses to hear as we’ve been trained by the culture to seek fast answers and immediate gratification.
The Fraudulent ‘Magic’ Solutions Marketed to Small Businesses & Individuals
One of the more disheartening things for us to watch are the services marketed by so-called experts who promise to show you “the secret” to unlocking Facebook ads, or “how to make 7 figures in one year” or exhort you to “follow my recipe to achieve success.” While some do indeed have helpful information or insights, many of these other claims are simply fraudulent, unleashed by modern-day snake oil salesmen who cynically understand how to exploit the ambitions and desires of small businesses and individuals.
In the end, the truth is that small business success isn’t a formula or method you can just implement. It isn’t a secret to be unlocked. Like everything else in life, the goal is to put your business in the best possible circumstances through a combination of hard work, best practices, connections, attention to detail, and any number of other factors, not the least of which is timing and luck.
For example, we recently detailed the number of variables that have to be right for a marketing campaign alone to work – it’s at least 18, if not more. And no. 1 among them, again, might be simply getting lucky – putting your campaign in front of the right people at the right time. For all the time and investment you put into something such as a marketing campaign, that can be a hard pill to swallow. And for those businesses that expect more guaranteed results, we’re sorry to say, there are no slam dunks, no matter how big the opportunity might seem.
The question is, shouldn’t you go with an agency that promises you returns on your ROI? After all, they project confidence, right? Certainly, if any marketing agency or firm promises you guaranteed results through their methods, you can no doubt give them a try. But don’t be surprised if they don’t have all the answers for your particular business circumstance. No one really has all the answers. And that might be the first of many big claims that turn out not to be true.
Our Promise to Our Clients and Small Businesses Remains the Same
When we originally founded our Marketing Nice Guys agency about a year ago, we made a couple promises to ourselves. First, we would always stick to our mission of always focusing on helping small businesses excel at digital marketing, whether that meant people hired us or simply that we provided them with good advice just for free, which we often do. We think if businesses succeed, then we succeed in our mission. Secondly, we made a promise of no tricks, no secrets, no bait and switches or promises of unrealistic results. We would tell it straight to clients, good or bad.
So how would we help them? While we certainly assist many clients with big picture marketing and strategic thinking, we see our biggest competitive advantage helping them focus on the little things – the attention to detail that we saw was often missing from other agencies or other marketing efforts. Those seemingly small best practices that are absolutely critical in making sure customers move down the buyer journey toward purchase or conversion.
Digital marketing today is hard work. Especially for many small businesses who, as mentioned above, don’t have the budget or the resources to carry out a bigger campaign. As we enter our second year, we pledge to re-up on our promise to do a lot of that hard work, to focus on the little things and deliver on those best practices for small businesses. Throw in a little luck, and we hope to see you around again in year 2.
Boney & Tim
P.S. We should not forget to thank our wives and children who have patiently put up with this little business for the past year as well.
At Marketing Nice Guys, our mission is to help you excel in digital marketing. Contact us for a free consultation in content & SEO, website design and development, paid media, marketing automation, and social media management.