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Perhaps the best part of reality television is the accompaniment of each contestant’s name with his or her occupation. With every new season and every fresh batch of extraordinarily tall children comes a few phenomenal job descriptions: “former high school baseball player,” “equestrian mastermind,” “Floridian demigod,” et cetera.
And who could forget the self-reported occupation most commonly seen across the Reality TV Cinematic Universe: “entrepreneur.” The brilliance of this word lay in the ambiguity. Is Chad from Orange County creating the next Microsoft, or is he designing an app that uses GPS to guide bar patrons to the nearest urinals for their early morning walks home? You could be presumptuous and make a guess, or you could be an intellectual and watch season 43 of The Bachelorette. All we know about Chad is that he conducts business of some sort.
Chad is not alone, either. There are nearly 30 million businesses with fewer than 500 employees in the U.S. Over 99 percent of all American businesses are considered small. In other words, small enterprises create tens of millions of jobs and exercise enormous influence over the U.S. economy.
Contrary to what’s suggested in The Social Network, businesses do not typically begin in Harvard dorm rooms following misogynistic scandals. The majority of small business owners are over the age of 40, and half are older than 50. Plus, most of these owners’ educations do not go higher than an associate’s degree. Pursuit of passion, desire for personal autonomy, and discontent with office life are the principal motivators for SMB owners. When you’re marketing to entrepreneurs and business owners, you’re probably not dealing with aspirational college students – it’s their parents and grandparents you’re interested in. In other words, you’re marketing to people who are ready to make changes in their humdrum daily existences.
It’s important to recognize the obstacles that stand in the way of prospective business owners. The majority of those who struggle report that the difficulty to obtain sufficient funding is the biggest problem. Others cite lack of direction, opportunity, and support as key issues as well. The commonality across these complaints is rather clear: it is hard to take a chance on oneself and start a small business. No matter how smart, resourceful, and driven the entrepreneur, he or she is going to need a lot of time, money, and guidance before reaching a sustainable level of success.
If you’re wondering how to take that information and develop a marketing strategy geared towards SMB owners, look at WordStream. What do we offer to clients? In a nutshell, an easier and more efficient life. That approach to marketing works because our team understands that SMB owners have neither the time nor the resources to fully educate themselves on all things paid search and SEO. Our team also recognizes the importance of every dollar to an effective online advertising strategy, which informs our efforts to help SMB owners minimize waste in their marketing budgets and improve their ROI. Marketing to any group of people requires an understanding of their perspective, particularly when that group needs your help to stay afloat.
For more insights into the worlds of small business and marketing, visit the WordStream blog.