8 Marketing Obstacles Faced by Small Businesses

By Jeff HopeckMarch 4, 2024

Hey there, fellow entrepreneur! Let’s have a real talk about the marketing challenges and hurdles we face as small business owners, especially when it comes to marketing.

If you’ve taken the plunge into entrepreneurship, you’ve probably encountered your fair share of doubters – those friends and family members who couldn’t imagine themselves doing what you’re doing.

And hey, they might have a point! Statistically speaking, around 20% of small businesses in the U.S. don’t make it past their first year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

But fear not, because we’re in this together, and today, we’re diving deep into some common marketing challenges we’re all familiar with – and how to tackle them head-on.

1. Feeling the Pinch of Limited Resources

Oh, the age-old struggle of resource scarcity! It’s like a never-ending cycle, right? We know marketing is crucial for growth, but when funds and time are tight, it often takes a backseat to day-to-day operations.

It’s a classic catch-22 situation – to boost sales, you need to market, but to market effectively, you need resources you might not have.

So, what’s the workaround?

First off, let’s talk budget. It’s vital to carve out a portion of your resources strictly for marketing purposes. Sure, there’s plenty of talk about how marketing in the digital age can be done for free, but let’s be real – nothing is truly free. Even if you’re not splurging on paid advertising, remember that time is money, and marketing eats up a lot of it. Whether you’re doing it yourself or roping in someone else, factor in the time investment.

And speaking of time, let’s address the elephant in the room – small teams. Sure, we’re scrappy and can wear multiple hats, but there are only so many hours in a day. With a gazillion marketing tactics at our disposal, juggling everything can leave us feeling overwhelmed and underwhelmed with the results.

But fear not, my friend, because outsourcing is our secret weapon.

Consider bringing in freelancers or independent contractors to lighten the load. They can tackle specific tasks while you focus on keeping the ship afloat.

2. The DIY Dilemma

Hands up if you’ve ever fallen into the trap of thinking you can do it all yourself! In the digital age, we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to marketing channels, and it’s tempting to believe we can handle it solo. But here’s the thing – effective marketing goes way beyond posting a few tweets or Instagram stories.

Sure, we can dabble in social media and email marketing, but let’s not kid ourselves – there’s a whole science behind it. From audience-building to engagement strategies, there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes. That’s why learning to outsource is key. Recognize your strengths and weaknesses, and don’t be afraid to call in the experts when needed.

3. Battling Inconsistency

Ever feel like you’re on a marketing rollercoaster? One minute you’re posting like there’s no tomorrow, and the next, crickets. Inconsistency is the enemy of brand trust, yet it’s something many small businesses struggle with.

So, how do we stay on track?

It’s all about planning and automation, my friend. Set aside some time to map out your marketing efforts in advance. Create a promotional calendar to keep you on schedule, and consider leveraging automation tools to fill in the gaps when life gets hectic.

4. Content Conundrum

Ah, content – the lifeblood of inbound marketing. But here’s the thing – creating quality web content consistently is no easy feat, especially for us small business owners wearing multiple hats.

But fear not, because help is at hand!

Consider bringing in a content strategist to help you develop a killer content plan. They can take the reins and map out your content strategy for the quarter or even the year, leaving you free to focus on other aspects of your business.

5. Riding the Trend Wave

Keeping up with the latest marketing trends is like trying to catch a wave – exhilarating yet exhausting. With so much on our plates already, staying ahead of the curve can feel like an impossible task.

But here’s the deal – you don’t have to do it alone.

Consult with marketing specialists, a phenomenal digital marketing agency, or do some research to stay informed about emerging trends. Focus on trends that align with your business goals and target audience, and don’t feel pressured to jump on every bandwagon that passes by.

6. Finding the Right Talent

As small business owners, we wear many hats. But there comes a time when we need to acknowledge our limitations and bring in reinforcements, especially when it comes to marketing.

So, how do we find the right talent?

Start by identifying your needs and seeking out professionals who specialize in those areas. Whether it’s hiring a dedicated marketing manager or tapping into freelance platforms, don’t settle for subpar talent – your business deserves the best.

7. Measuring What Matters

In the hustle and bustle of running a small business, it’s easy to lose sight of what really matters. Without the time or resources to track and analyze our marketing efforts, it’s challenging to gauge their effectiveness.

But fret not, because there’s a solution to your marketing challenges!

Invest in analytics tools to track key performance indicators (KPIs) and measure ROI. Regularly review your marketing metrics and adjust your strategies accordingly. Remember, search engine optimization is an ongoing process, so don’t be afraid to experiment and pivot when needed.

Conclusion: You Got This!

So, there you have it – a rundown of the marketing challenges we small business owners face and some practical tips for overcoming them. Yes, the road ahead may be bumpy, but with the right mindset and strategies in place, we can navigate any obstacle that comes our way.

So, here’s to smashing those revenue goals and taking our businesses to new heights! Cheers to us, the fearless entrepreneurs!


If you need help, please click below to schedule a 15-minute call with Jeff Hopeck, owner of Killer Shark Marketing.

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