Don’t have the time to do marketing

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I don’t have time to do marketing

If there’s a common theme in the conversations I have with business owners, it’s that they don’t have the time to consistently market their business.

We might be talking about  sending out a customer e-newsletter, participating in social media, attending an important trade show or updating their website.  The specifics don’t matter.  They just simply don’t have the time.

I get it.  The whole 24 hour in a day thing.

I ask them if they have time to serve their clients.  And they say, “of course… I have to do that to stay in business.”

I ask them if they have time to send out bills to their customers.  And they say, “of course… I have to do that to stay in business.”

You find time to do what’s necessary.  If it has to get done, it gets done.

Ahhh.  So it’s not that you don’t have time.  It’s that you don’t consider marketing a necessity to stay in business.  Now that’s a very different conversation.

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9 comments on “Don’t have the time to do marketing

  1. Doug Pals says:


    I seem to be having this conversation more and more as well, or similar type discussions.

    The angle that I am seeing is: we don’t have the time to think about being creative, so we just did it this way…or we didn’t do it at all.

    Often it can be an exhausting exchange with folks that are exhausted or exasperated – depending on their business, personality or particular industry.

    So when I read this today, I thought “At least I am not the only one seeing/hearing this type of thing.”

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


    1. Doug,

      I think most people find the demand for consistency and frequency to be daunting. So it’s easy to start something and then let it taper off, rather than staying at it. But…it’s equally easy to dismiss it as “it didn’t work” as opposed to “I wasn’t willing to do the work.”


  2. Dave Rodda says:

    Not that I don’t have time, but that this “TIME” is spent answering calls from SEO companies claiming to be able to walk on water. Only to find that their own site is not listed on the top three pages of their primary search. Small one man shops really do not have this elusive “TIME” that you talk about. We are too busy reading your blog to do the marketing we should really be doing.

    1. Dave,

      While I love that you’re busy reading this blog — I don’t want to be what keeps you from doing your marketing! I think you do have the time to tweak what you’re already doing to make it more effective. That would be step #1….


  3. Laura Gaulke says:

    Like the post. I am going to be speaking next Friday downtown during the Crossroads Midwest Entertainment Conference and my topic is “Marketing in a Recessionary/Downturn Economy” … I wonder how many will spend the TIME to come watch the topic and if they do the message is pretty simple that businesses should just keep marketing – since in a downturn economy it is the first thing companies generally stop doing – they don’t want to spend the money or the time. But the only companies that will be poised to be on top as the economy improves are those that did not stop.

    1. Laura,

      It’s an age old argument — to earn the right to keep marketing — you have to do some marketing. The businesses that understand that are the ones who survived the downturn and are still in business.

      Be interesting to see if they show up to hear your presentation!


  4. Deb Kolaras says:

    Truer words were never spoken.

  5. Ha, very smart argument! But I suggest, those who don’t have time to do intensive marketing, they better leave it to experts. A lot can already take care of this area well, and business owners don’t have to spend a lot of money. That would also give them more time to concentrate on other core functions of their business that may need a lot of their attention.

  6. This valuable editorial was very useful to read, I savored it completely. I’m about now to email it to my collegues to permit them examine this too.

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