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How Much Time Should You Spend Marketing Your Small Business?

by Jessica Swanson

How much time should you spend marketing your small business? In my humble opinion, this is one of the most important questions to consider when it comes to running a small business.

But, here's the crazy part. I attempted to pull together some quality research about this question and couldn't come up with any solid data. Hard as I tried, I just couldn't find a definitive answer.

So, all I can do is offer my own answer (which is backed by personal experience as opposed to research).

So here goes: You should spend at least 60 percent of your work-time marketing your small business.

I know, I know, it's all a bit suspect. I teach marketing, so of course I would recommend spending an inordinate amount of time marketing your small business.

But, if you can cast your skepticism aside for a moment I have another important question for you to consider: Have you invented a product or service that can sell itself?

If you have, I offer you my heartfelt congratulations. But, most of us don't have that luxury.

Unfortunately, there are hundreds and thousands of truly excellent products or services that haven't made a dime in sales. I'm sure you may even know a few examples.

And, the only reason why an excellent product or service isn't making sales is because the small business owner isn't spending their time marketing the product. Instead, they're spending most of their time working "in" their business.

Here's my simple 3-step process for running a successful small business:

1. To run a profitable small business, you need to make sales.

2. To make sales, you need to get the word out about your products or services.

3. To get the word out about your product or service, you need to market.

That means, like or not, you are a marketer first, small business owner second.

And, if you're on a shoestring budget, you certainly don't have a lot of money to spend on marketing, so you're going to have to put a lot of time into your marketing. There's really no way around it.

So, how did I come up with the fact that you should spend 60 percent of your time on marketing? Because that's how much time I personally spend on my own marketing activities including: posting on my blog, social networking, publishing articles, creating videos, hosting webinars, speaking, SEO and networking (just to name a few).

Here's a quick survey to find out how much time you spend marketing your own small business.

Go to to tell us how much time YOU spend marketing your small business.

Go to to find out how much time OTHER small business owners spend marketing their small businesses:

Let me know your thoughts!

Jessica Swanson may be contacted at

Jessica Swanson, “The Shoestring Marketer,” has helped entrepreneurs, all over the world, explode their businesses using cutting-edge, proven and completely free marketing strategies. To download your FREE Marketing Kit, which has helped thousands of entrepreneurs, just like you, learn the exact techniques for marketing their businesses for NO-COST, visit: Shoestring Marketing Kit


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