Small Business Marketing Kit for Dummies by Barbara Findlay Schenck is easy to read with simple explanations and practical advice. I picked up this book at the library after my SCORE mentor suggested I concentrate on marketing for my business. Go over to the Dummies website to check out this book’s cheat sheet at www.dummies.com/cheatsheet/smallbusinessmarketingkit and see a small preview of all the great information available in this book.
In chapter 1, Schenck gives a simple definition of marketing: the process through which you win and keep customers. Marketing is such a broad topic, so as a person with no formal business training, this straightforward definition helped me understand what it’s really all about. I had assumed marketing was the same thing as advertising, but I now know it’s so much more than that. Also in Chapter 1, the “marketing wheel” explains how marketing affects every aspect of your business and the entire process of making sales. Schenck says in marketing the whole is greater than the parts, and it’s a never-ending process.
This very thorough book gives lots of advice on research including product, market, competitor, and customer research, as well as covering all the details of developing your brand.
My favorite quote from Schenck has to be, “Your product is what Google says it is.”
The book goes on to explain how to develop goals and strategies, and how to set a marketing budget outlining to use of your time and money. I never really considered budgeting my time before, but as Schenck points out, most businesses use social media as part of their marketing efforts. Social media can be very effective, and while it doesn’t cost money, it does take a lot of time.
Schenck gives good advice for getting your message out both online and offline. This book is actually the reason I started my blog. Schenck suggests blogging on a regular basis as a way to create engaging content for your social media outlets. I’ve learned from this book that it’s important to interact with customers instead of just trying to sell.
This book is full of resources providing the names and websites of helpful organizations and services. It even comes with a CD packed with useful forms and checklists to accompany each chapter. I printed them out and put them in a binder, and I continue to work on them as I develop my marketing plan.
Over the past couple months I’ve read several marketing books, and I’m always at the library looking for more. This was the first book I picked up, and I’m really glad it was. It gives an excellent overview of marketing, especially for someone like me who is new to running a business. I highly recommend it!