The hidden syndrome effecting 95% of small business owners that no one is talking about—and how you can set up workflows to ensure you don’t market in fits and spurts.
Sporadic Marketing Syndrome defines one of the major issues that 95% of small business
owners suffer from—largely because they tend to dip in and out of marketing activities,
which causes inconsistent results. Such inconsistency results in fluctuations in turnover and
profits, because these tend to link directly to the rate of marketing activity that occurs.
Moreover, having gaps and pulling back on consistent marketing can make it difficult to get
things back on track again. Not only can marketing in fits and spurts make it psychologically
challenging for many small business owners, but it can also negatively impact brand
perception, trust, and credibility.
Small business owners are under enough pressure running their businesses without the
additional overwhelming pressure of knowing that they ought to be doing something that they’re
not. Setting up some easy-to-implement workflows can ensure that sporadic marketing and
unwanted pressure is thing of the past.
Planning is crucial and it’s something that small business owners must take the time to do.
There’s often a temptation, when it comes to marketing, to go straight to marketing
communications and promotions, without having a marketing strategy or plan in place. In all my years in business, I’ve never had a single client that already had these in place before
working with me.
It’s a mistake to skip the planning phase. As well as being the foundation of a successful
business, it’s essential to managing future workflows.
This doesn’t necessarily mean developing a huge long-term business and marketing plan—I’m all in favor of short-term planning, too!
Putting together 90-day goals and breaking them down into small, achievable chunks will help massively because it will provide focus, purpose, clarity, and direction. I see the relief on my clients’ faces when we do this for the first time.
Breaking things down even further into monthly and weekly plans not only alleviates pressure, because it immediately makes marketing less overwhelming, it also leads to effective scheduling.
With ever-increasing demands on our time, scheduling works a treat when making time for
marketing. My advice is put your marketing time in your diary. Whether small business
owners are doing marketing activities themselves, a member of their team is, or it’s being
outsourced, marketing needs actioning and managing.
Use the details within the plan and schedule time to do all the necessary activities in calendars
or diaries. Importantly, leave it there. There may be a temptation to reschedule activities, but
Unless there is a major catastrophe, once scheduled, it should not be moved. Taking action is
what gets results. All the planning in the world is futile without action and allocating time to
create action is imperative to marketing success.
Time Blocking can make the scheduling of marketing activities even easier. Rather than just
scheduling generic “marketing time,” for example, allocate time for individual tasks. Schedule
each individual task separately. Assign realistic timeframes to each task and aim to stick to
those allotted timeframes.
It’s so easy, especially with things like social media, to get engrossed and side tracked. This
often leads to not having enough time to complete a task, or can lead us to thinking that certain
tasks take longer than they do.
When using Time Blocking, set reminders on your phone or smart devices. Set one for the halfway point and another for the full time. Not only will this help keep you on schedule, but it will also be a great way to ascertain exactly how long tasks actually take. In turn, this will help with future
It’s not surprising that most people start with their favorite tasks first. After all, if you enjoy
something, there’s bound to be a temptation to prioritize it. Don’t do this! Start with the worst
thing first. Think about your least favorite task and do that first.
Firstly, it makes certain that the task gets done. Secondly, as you end with your most preferred
tasks, your marketing activities will have a more positive association. In turn, this will avoid the
temptation to reschedule future marketing activities.
The ripple effect of small changes can massively impact future business performance and
marketing successes. Moreover, making these small workflow changes could result in a huge
psychological shift that results in the desire to be consistent with marketing.
Most importantly, they will help avoid Sporadic Marketing Syndrome and massive fluctuations in
sales revenue, cashflow, and profits.
Tracy Heatley @anica
I’m an MBA, FCIM Chartered Marketer and Award Winning Networking Specialist for small businesses. Results include tripling clients’ income within 6 weeks of working with them.