In the business world, growth is of the utmost importance. To no business is this more important, however, than to a small business. Large businesses, monolithic companies with locations all across the country and even the world, they can sustain extreme losses and still be able to survive, even if it means they have to close some locations or cut back on certain expenses, offer more stock, or even sell some solid assets that they may control, like administrative or warehousing buildings or other real property (which is to say, property that exists on the physical plane of existence). If a small business begins sliding backwards, that’s how you end up with worst case scenarios where people have two mortgages on their house and are still losing money each month on their business. It’s generally accepted by the Internal Revenue Service that opening a business isn’t going to be an immediately profitable endeavor, and they full expect, and allow, that your first five years will be years in which your tax burden will be little, if anything, because in most cases, you can write-off business losses on your taxes. After that, it’s assumed that you’ll have grown your business, or that you’ll be closing your doors.
So, because closing your doors isn’t something that you really want to do, how do you grow your business? Through careful advertising, through word of mouth, and, in general, through maintaining a steady public relations campaign. A pr campaign, artfully and expertly run, can make all the difference between competitors. Look, for example, at the history of our home video technology in the United States (and worldwide, eventually). When home video recording and viewing first came into being, there were two names that were competing for the chance to put their device in your home, hooked up to your television, projecting your favorite videos onto your screen. The competitors had even designed their own machines, which used two very different formats. One was called VHS cassettes, large, bulky, plastic cassettes with magnetic tape that, when read by the VCR that would play them, would show video images. The long-forgotten competitor (except by weirdos like myself who remember such things because it makes me look intelligent and a real asset when it comes to trivia games) was called ‘Beta Max’, and it was superior in almost every way. Whereas the VHS competitor could only show the images, the beta max was able to skip along chapter by chapter, much like DVD players of today, and was also able to provide closed captioning and other language dubbing in some cases. Obviously, Beta max was the better product, and the only thing that held it back was a dismally run marketing campaign and terrible public relations, while VHS pulled a PR coup and relegated Beta max to the scarp heap. Public relations and marketing alone sunk a superior product.
So, if you’re a small business, how do you go about getting someone to manage public relations? You can’t hire a full-time PR employee, they’re going to be out of your price range, especially when you factor in the cost of things like advertising and producing the actual content for advertising. You could do all this yourself, of course, but you’ve got quite enough on your plate as a small business owner as it is. What, then, are you to do?
Hire yourself an expert! Or, rather, a group of experts, a PR firm that represents various companies and their marketing interests. These people, hopefully, will also be able to offer you social media marketing services as well, because we do live in the internet age, and it’s important that you keep up a presence on the major social media networks so that your customers feel connected to you and the products and services that you offer. Another great advantage of running a social media site is that it allows you to give people a reason to come back in after their first stop in at your business, whether it be because you’re running a promotion, a discount, a sale, or even a contest, or maybe just because you’ve gotten new product in stock at your location that they really desire.
So, there’s an obvious benefit to hiring an independent pr firm when you need help in finding and sustaining long-term growth for your business. If this is the case, I urge you to contact your local PR agency and see what they can do for you before it’s too late and you have to close your doors.