What do you spend the biggest chunk of time doing in your business? Reading and replying to emails, checking your social media channels, creating fancy business cards, consuming media? You fill in the blank. Next question: what is the most important part of your business? What activity can you do to help it grow? Are your answers different? It can be a little shocking can’t it? If they aren’t the same, it’s not a bad thing, it means that you now have the opportunity to speed up the growth of your company or venture.

Now, put your answers to one side for a minute and think about this: There is one thing that can make or break your business, one skill that as an entrepreneur will help you massively. We’re not talking passion, though I do believe it’s absolutely key. We’re talking marketing. Marketing, if done correctly can grow your business to untold levels. However, lack of marketing can keep you cemented to the mediocrity of struggling or ‘just getting by’ – which is nobodies dream!

The number one goal of any business is to get and keep clients. Here’s an example: Coca Cola is one of the most globally recognized brands. They are a household name, yet still spend millions on advertising. The top companies in the world have a deep understanding of marketing, it’s a major focus for them.

For small businesses on the other hand, marketing is either a tool to use when it can be afforded or it’s a way to increase sales during slow periods. Most small business owners aren’t actively putting themselves out there or attracting new customers. Some of us spend hours working in, not on, our business (i.e replying to emails, dealing with stock etc.). Those aspects are important, but none are as important as marketing. You may have the best product and service in the world, but if no-one knows about it – it’s never going to reach stardom. Just think about that.

So what can you do?

Dedicate an hour to marketing everyday. Do whatever works for your business: i.e. ppc, newspaper advertising, writing articles. Wonder what would suit your product or service best? Do the research or hire a marketing company! Have a look at what the ‘big guns’ in your industry are doing. Read about how you can get better at marketing and then take action. Delegate the less important tasks to your employees, or do them later if you’re a one man band. Ensure that your actions match your desired outcome of winning and keeping customers, and you can only go up!