14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Small business owners are experts at providing a product or service, but that doesn't mean they are experts at * marketing * their businesses. As a member of a co-working organization, and as a social media marketer, I meet small- to mid-size business owners and solopreneurs on a regular basis who are confused by all of the choices available to them to market their businesses. They are intimidated and overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information, and the time and monetary costs associated with getting new customers.
In her book, Small Business Marketing Kit for Dummies, Barbara Findlay Schenck has done a great job of laying out the different marketing options available to small business owners in a simple, clear manner.
Because of the breadth of information included, I would highly recommend this book to people who are considering opening a business, people in startups, business owners who want to grow but have limited insight into what that requires, entrepreneurs and students. Even seasoned marketers will pick up some new strategies. I would also recommend this book to anyone considering hiring a marketing or advertising agency to learn the buzzwords and gain realistic expectations of what their service provider should be able to do (and not do).
She starts by getting the mindset right so business owners will see through their customers' eyes to get the message right. This is a step many business owners fail to take, and when it they do, it makes them seem out of touch. So, +1 to the author for touching on this crucial insight first. I would encourage all business owners to read that part thoroughly and not gloss over it. Getting the message right comes first, promoting it comes second.
The rest of the book is a buffet of advertising, media buying (including billboards and outdoor ads which I almost never see in small business marketing publications), public relations, sales presentation information and everything in between. It also gives a good amount of information on social media and mobile marketing (my personal favorites). There are some sections on branding (choosing a business name, etc.) and how to get a website set up, whether to host it yourself or use a free service, pros and cons of each, supervising a web developer, etc. She does a really good job of covering technical subjects in a non-techie manner, which is so important for small business owners. There are also sections on online directories, and calculating market share.
She presents the information in a very clear, simple (but not simplistic) manner. I learned a lot from the book and will be implementing what I have learned.
One thing I have found in my day-to-day interactions with business owners is that no marketers do everything, so they can only recommend strategies from their own toolboxes. The real beauty of this book in my humble opinion is that, in addition to her own expansive business knowledge, the author has consulted experts in each of the marketing disciplines included in the book to help business owners decide if a particular marketing strategy or channel is right for them.
There is also a bonus CD with worksheets, checklists and charts that are organized by book chapter, plus a list of forms. Many of these checklists contain advice from subject matter experts, and include advice on how to hire an agency, tracking forms for social media and a blog editorial calendar, model release forms, checklists for radio and television advertising, LinkedIn tips, how to write an elevator pitch, what to include on a website landing page, what to say by phone or email to introduce your business, and many more. Usually, you would have to hire and pay multiple consultants to get a stack of forms like this, and I know because I have done it! Buying this book is much cheaper.
I judge the value of an information product in this manner: If I learn one new thing that I didn't know before or find a new way to increase my productivity that will enable me to make a sale that will be equal to or greater than the cost of the book, then the book is worth it. This book is more than worth it. Thank you, Barbara Findlay Schenk, I will be recommending your book to my clients and colleagues. Disclosure: I received a review copy of the book in exchange for an honest assessment of the book.