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Majority of Small Business Owners Say They Lack Marketing Skills

By: Elaine Fogel


A recent University of Phoenix study of small business owners across the US “enjoy what they do and are glad they did it, even with the challenges that go along.” (Erik Sherman, Inc.com) And, there’s more good news.

More than two-thirds (67%) of owners are primarily motivated by being their own boss while 42% say having more flexible work schedules motivated them. Other motivations include taking pride in something they created (41%), going after greater financial success (41%), and taking on a new challenge (34%).
37% say they enjoy owning a business and 35% say they feel personal satisfaction.
Yet, admittedly, small business owners say they lack some important skills.
The majority (28%) say they lack marketing/advertising skills while 25% lack legal issues skills. Other skills they lack include sales (22%), creating a business plan (22%), managing finances (20%), and using social media (19%).
In general, they say their biggest challenges are:
  • Attracting and retaining clients (38%)
  • Remaining financially solvent (32%)
  • Expanding the business (22%)
  • Working with difficult customers (18%)
  • Differentiating themselves from the competition (16%)
Here’s some advice from my new book, Beyond Your Logo – 7 Brand Ideas That Matter Most for Small Business Success (being launched this fall).
Learn What You Can
Learn as much as you can about marketing and branding on your own. Even after the business can afford internal or outsourced specialists, some basic knowledge is valuable for small business owners and managers.
Classes, Seminars, and Webinars
A good start is to take classes and/or seminars. Many local community colleges and universities offer a variety of small business marketing and branding courses. Some require in-person participation, while others are available online.
Government Agencies and Nonprofit Organizations
Check for government agencies and nonprofit organizations that assist small businesses with dedicated microsites, business development centers, classes, or one-to-one consultations or coaching. Start with your city, state, province, or federal government website.
This article was originally published by Elaine Fogel
Published: June 30, 2015

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Elaine Fogel

Elaine Fogel is a marketing, branding, and customer experience evangelist, professional speaker, and author of Beyond Your Logo: 7 Brand Ideas That Matter Most For Small Business Success. People in 100+ countries regularly read her blog, Totally Uncorked on Marketing and her articles have appeared in many publications.

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