Marketing can be the bane of many small businesses, and that makes marketing consultants invaluable to business owners.
Without good marketing, business growth becomes nigh-impossible, and that forces many small business owners to rely on the expertise of marketing consulting services.
Whether you are stuck trying to build a digital marketing strategy or just want some basic consulting services to tweak your existing social media presence, they can help you save money while also making money.
But what should you know before you jump into hiring one – if you even should hire them at all?
Table of Contents
What is a Small Business Marketing Consultant?
A small business marketing consultant is exactly what the name implies: a consultant that works with small businesses to bolster their marketing efforts.
This can cover a huge range of different topics and marketing strategies, but the end goal is always the same – help small business owners build an effective marketing strategy.
Most marketing consultants are professionals that work directly with their client companies. They can help to develop a new marketing system, suggest a solid marketing strategy, or even build an entire marketing campaign – all based on what their client actually needs from them.
Marketing is a major part of running a business, but it can also involve a lot of planning and require expertise that many small business owners do not have.
By working with marketing consultants, you can get effective outside help while also being freed up from the hassles of marketing to run your business.
What Does a Small Business Marketing Consultant Do?
Small business marketing consultants are just like any other consulting services, and a typical consultant can take on many different roles for their clients.
Whether they are working with large corporations or a tiny two-person business, a consultant is equipped with the skills for multiple core marketing tasks.
As a whole, a marketing consultant exists to strengthen the marketing of their client. This might mean overhauling their business goals, working to identify gaps in their marketing, pushing for more sales, and making sure that the overall business marketing plan is pointed in the right direction.
A typical small business consultant can be involved in both hands-off and hands-on roles. For example, they might advise the small business owner from a distance for local marketing but take over the general work involved in online content marketing.
The exact services offered by each consultant depend on what their clients need. For example, if a business does not have enough leads to properly advertise itself online, then the consultant may be involved in getting that company the leads that they need.
Some of the more common roles for a marketing consultant include:
Acting as a General Marketing Consultant
Consulting services are a general problem-solving option, offering marketing advice to small business owners who might not have marketing skills or experience themselves. A helping hand can make even the simplest business marketing strategy far more effective.
Building a Marketing Strategy
A new business can rely on a marketing consultant to help them construct marketing strategies from scratch. Getting over the initial hurdle of kickstarting your marketing can be tough, but a good marketing consultant can make all the difference.
Refining Marketing Campaigns
A marketing consultant can also refine existing marketing campaigns and strategies, helping clients optimize their marketing to capture more customers in their target market and present the right products to the right people.
Suggesting a New Marketing Plan
Most consultants are able to suggest a new plan that can complement an existing strategy or to help their clients target the right market in the right direction if they are not already.
Identifying a Target Audience
A marketing consultant often boasts a lot of instinctive marketing experience and can help clients find a new target audience – or better define the target markets that they are already aiming for.
Breaking into New Marketing Channels
Branching out your marketing options can be tough, but a good marketing consultant may be able to help you find new channels for capturing more traffic and nudging more customers into complete sales.
Capturing More Leads
Like many parts of marketing, an effective consultant can guide a business into capturing more leads and finding new areas of expansion or growth.
Identifying Low Quality Leads
Most good digital marketing consultants are also fully capable of identifying when a lead is bad, letting a business cull out any leads or target markets that simply are not worth their time.
Improving Web Design
Web design elements can have an impact on your marketing effectiveness, so some marketing consultant services may focus on optimizing a site’s design and layout to better suit your marketing goals.
Managing Social Media Accounts
Social media platforms can be an invaluable marketing tool that many business owners do not have the time and skills for.
Again, a marketing consultant is the perfect way to ensure great social media performance and to incorporate it into your marketing campaigns well.
What Makes Marketing Consultants So Important?
A small business marketing consultant is not just another tool for a small business to rely on. If you choose the right consulting services for your own business and find consultants that you can rely on, they can effectively become a way to streamline your marketing while you focus on other things.
In the modern business world, it is common for marketing to be spread across both real-world and online mediums, often covering dozens of different platforms and options.
No matter what kind of small business you run, a marketing consultant can make a huge difference.
Not only does a marketing consultant allow you to hand off your small business marketing needs to an experienced third party, but their expertise can really help.
Marketing is about mixing tried-and-tested methods with the latest trends, and inexperienced business owners trying to market themselves well can often be fighting a losing battle against their competition.
With a marketing agency, experience, and knowledge are everything. A good marketing consultant can both identify areas of improvement and apply solutions that make a difference, allowing a small business to stay competitive even though it might lack the resources of other businesses.
Why Should You Hire Small Business Marketing Consultants?
All marketing requires a strategy. A small business marketing consultant will specialize in improving small business marketing, as their name suggests – but that also means that they can develop strategies and additional options that are tailor-made for that specific small business.
Creating a marketing campaign by yourself is definitely possible, and not every piece of digital marketing would require a digital marketing consultant.
However, an average small business will live and die based on the number of potential customers it can draw in and only has so many resources to draw from.
A marketing consultant effectively gives you a way to save time, spread the responsibilities around, and keep an expert focused on the parts of small business marketing that you find too difficult to manage alone.
The right choice of consultant can make it much easier for a smaller business to achieve marketing success.
Since marketing consulting is such a flexible field that can cover a lot of different tasks and roles, many small businesses can also benefit from a marketing consultant working as a guiding hand for their marketing.
Small business owners with limited marketing experience can often struggle to make progress, but having an expert there to help can really make a difference.
How Much Does a Marketing Consultant Cost?
Different business marketing consultant services (and each independent business marketing consultant) are going to charge different amounts for their services.
With a larger company, a marketing director could be paid as much as $90,000 or higher. However, for a small business marketing consultant, you will not be paying nearly as much. In fact, hiring a small business marketing consultant can often be cheaper than hiring a regular employee in some cases.
The average salary can vary wildly, so be sure to ask each small business marketing consultant for a price quote before you decide to work with one.
In general, though, a small business marketing consultant will usually be affordable, considering the niche that they are operating in.
When to Hire a Small Business Marketing Consultant
A small business marketing consultant can always be a good choice for a small business owner, but there are some times when they are clearly going to make a big difference.
In some cases, you might even need a small business marketing consultant to claw your business back to success after a huge slump.
You Lack Knowledge
If you do not have a clear understanding of all the qualities and factors that go into building a good marketing plan, then you might need outside help to find the success you are looking for.
While a new business owner might understand that internet marketing exists, they might not have the skills for anything beyond email marketing – and that includes search engine optimization, managing conversion rates, and many other parts of digital marketing as a whole.
In this example, a digital marketing consultant would be able to build an effective strategy around the gaps in the owner’s knowledge, helping them market online effectively.
You Lack Systems
Marketing consulting is not just about the business consultant filling in your knowledge gaps: they also provide the foundations of what you need.
They can remove inefficient parts of your business and help you optimize the way you market to your audience, regardless of your industry.
This also refers to general systems that form the core of your marketing: for example, building your first digital advertising campaign or setting up tools to monitor your online sales and incoming money accurately.
For a digital marketing consultant, this might even mean things like building a user-friendly website or making sure that you are approaching email marketing in an effective and law-compliant way.
You Need New Ideas
The skills of a small business marketing consultant can make them the perfect source of fresh ideas, which could be all you need to push your business forward.
It is not uncommon for a larger company to call in specialists for their expertise, even only for a few days. Smaller businesses can follow this company practice and get hold of “subject-matter experts” – a business term for problem-solvers with a lot of knowledge in one or two specific fields.
You Need Honesty
Sometimes it helps to have an industry specialist examine your business or company and tell you what is wrong without sugar-coating the issue or trying to downplay the problems.
Personal pride is no reason to let your business struggle due to a bad marketing decision.
A good small business marketing consultant will explain their thoughts directly, offering a mixture of advice and direct solutions while providing constructive criticism and solid foundations to build on.
You Need Support
One under-appreciated benefit of a small business marketing consultant is that they offer raw support, regardless of your exact needs.
They always have your business’s best interest at heart as long as they are working for you and are able to adapt to suit whatever roles you need.
This makes it much easier to properly manage your business without stretching yourself thin or wasting valuable resources on tasks you can’t do very well.
You Need Success
If used correctly, a small business consultant can be an invaluable tool to have in your business’ arsenal. Whether it is building a stronger client base or just trying to promote a certain product correctly, a good consultant works well as a jack-of-all-trades to improve your business operations.
While your business will obviously save things like human resources for when it grows larger, a consultant can be useful at any scale for almost any project.
From ranking higher in search engines to helping you break into digital marketing in the first place, having help from an experienced professional makes a massive difference to literally any small business.
Whatever assistance you need, it is worth considering a consultant as your go-to specialist.
Finding one that suits your business might take a little bit of time, but having them on hand to support you is incredibly valuable to a business of any size and scope.
Scott Calland is a highly regarded content specialist with an English Degree. He has a passion for creating compelling content as a UK journalist that engages, informs, and entertains readers. With over 10 years of experience in creating news publications as a reporter, Scott has developed a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of how to craft content that resonates with audiences. Working closely with data analysts Scott’s research on topics is unrivalled for latest news updates.
Scott is also an investor in Searcharoo.