Is Your Small Business Marketing Like Herding Cats?

Recently I had the opportunity to chat with a small business owner at a networking event. I asked her about her website and small business marketing strategies. Have you ever talked to someone and they made you dizzy?

She told me that she had worked with another Marketing Specialist for several months and he recommended she get out of the business. I thought that was a bit harsh so I told her I would do a free consultation to help her out.

Before our scheduled 15 minute consultation (which lasted over 60 minutes) I had looked over her website. It was painfully clear why it was not helping her small business with either attracting prospects or converting them to customers. Some experts state that the typical person using the internet to research a product or service stays on website 30 second or less. I’d be willing to bet most left hers in under 10 seconds.

Small business marketing should be built on clarity not confusion

Her website broke so many basic rules of marketing. This was the first site I can remember that made me experience motion sickness. Her webmaster had obviously tried to make it eye catching by having pictures popping in and out of the screen in different locations. This was quite distracting when you are trying to read and especially distracting when some of the pictures had nothing to do with what she offered.

My plan was to share some simple strategies that would help her turn her website into an asset rather than a barrier to business. Lets just say that sometimes things don’t go as planned. Throughout our conversation I came to realize that the dizzying effect of her website was a reflection of her approach to business.

She had four different directions she was going with her business. Her thinking was that by doing this she would get more clients and more business. She would have something for everyone. I tried to show her all the reasons why she would do better by tightening up her target market but I don’t think the message got through. How do I know? I met her again at another networking event and she proudly told me she has added two more directions to take her small business.

The words, “pick one direction and focus” were about to roll off my tongue but I stopped myself. I just smiled, wished her luck and thought of that my time would be better spent “herding cats”

Keep in mind that every time you add another service to your small business that is not congruent with what you were already doing it will cause confusion with your small business marketing efforts. When someone tells me they do five things in their small business and none of them are related, I will assume you are doing none of them particularly well or you wouldn’t have needed to add one more.


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