In response to your question, let me first say that nothing keeps me up at night. Early in my “career” as an entrepreneur an investor told me, “You know you are an entrepreneur when you can get a good night’s sleep even when you don’t know how you’ll make payroll.” To tackle issues, I need to be able to think clearly and I need sleep in order to do so!
Our biggest issue is marketing.
My current company is a start-up, so we have a limited marketing budget. We can find many tactical marketing people and companies to outsource to, but very few strategic marketing companies that start from the point of really helping to define the message then craft online and offline content that supports the message and helps drive leads and sales. I am a great writer, but I am not a copywriter. I get approached by all sorts of coaches and others who will help me become a better copywriter, as a means of improving the marketing at my company. Arggh! But, by doing this, I become the bottleneck and cannot focus on growing the company in other ways, for example, partnering, which I am good at and I actually really like doing.
I’ve reached out to marketing firms that purport to help from strategy through implementation but the ones I’ve connected with quote me thousands of dollars with no guarantees. Or they want to charge me $400 – $500 for an initial, in-depth consultation, which gets me what? A proposal. Arggh! I have a strategic marketing plan; I need help executing it. Until I find a company to outsource to, I’m biting the bullet and doing much of the higher level work myself, while outsourcing all the tactical, resulting in significant frustration and a huge learning curve. However, as soon as we have the funds, I will hire a part-time or full-time skilled marketer to join our team and an intern to support him or her.
One benefit (I always try to see the positives):
My knowledge of social media has increased significantly. I’m building more relationships with influencers and beginning to attract partnering opportunities through my outreach. I decided to buy a couple of internet marketing websites, which my increase knowledge of internet marketing helped me assess, and build them into a separate company. I figure I can reverse engineer what those existing, profitable websites are doing and use that knowledge for The Resourceful CEO’s website properties.
One thing I’ve noticed:
There is a need in the marketplace for a firm that serves small and medium businesses but that takes a percentage of the sales generated instead of an upfront fee. Perhaps this is the venture I’ll start after The Resourceful CEO reaches a major milestone! Maybe I’ll roll the internet marketing website into that venture. Hmmm.