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Marketing a Small Business in 2018

At ReThinc Advertising, we interact with a lot of businesses. As we approach our 10th anniversary we find ourselves working with larger, more established brands each year. That’s both a good thing and a little bit sad as we really made a name for ourselves by helping small businesses to grow.

Many of those businesses are still with us today and I vow to never “outgrow” them. They believed in our capabilities and in many cases grew right along with us. We owe them for helping to make us one of the best digital ad agencies in Phoenix and I know they appreciate us for the work we’ve done for them.

It’s tremendously rewarding to see a small company grow, especially when we are engaged in promoting their brand. Smaller companies have more pronounced challenges to achieving marketing success given the scale at which they operate.

As a service to small businesses everywhere, I’d like to share some marketing basics that should serve you well as you grow your business.

1. Please take time to hire a professional graphic designer. Good design is a critical component of positioning your brand for success. If you have a small budget, pay them hourly to save your limited capital on other components of your marketing strategy.

2. Make sure your marketing fundamentals are all in order. You should have the standard collateral assets (business cards, website, email database, Google my business listing, and basic social media profiles as appropriate to your product or service).

3. Don’t waste your time trying to be the king of every social media platform. Engage the platforms that make sense for your target audience. Trying to do too much on social media can make you mediocre at everything. I would rather see you be good at one platform than mediocre on several. Never use a feed service for your social media.

4. Referral traffic is your friend, check that… it’s your best friend. Whereas all companies are reliant on referrals, small businesses can thrive by creating solid referrals from their current customer base.

5. Don’t try to portray your company as bigger than it is. Often times, bigger is not necessarily better, especially when it comes to customer service. Embrace your niche and if you want to grow, do so in a methodical and manageable way.

6. Good employees are a critical part of your marketing plan (think about it) and so very critical to the success of your small business. No bad hires, if you make one cut the cord quickly before it has an opportunity to negatively impact your business.

7. One of the key advantages that small businesses have over large businesses is the ability to move deftly as market conditions or industry trends occur. Stay on top of what’s happening and be quick to make the necessary moves that your competition may be slow to adapt to.

8. Do your homework before you purchase any form of digital marketing. There are a great deal of not so awesome business practices going on in the digital world, particularly from companies that have traditionally sold you other forms of advertising like radio, print and TV.

Small companies are highly reliant on efficient and effective marketing practices. They don’t have the capital to make some of the mistakes you see larger brands make. If you are the owner of a small business and you have questions, challenges or just need a little direction, don’t hesitate to contact me for some advice – Ed Olsen 602-284-6722 or

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