Why Small Business Owners Do Not Invest In Digital Marketing?

Why Small Business Owners Do Not Invest In Digital Marketing?

I have been working at and with small businesses for many years, and I noticed some interesting things. One of these things is that a lot of small business owners do not really invest much, or at all, in digital marketing.

So, in this post I want to talk about the fact that the business I was working for was doing great, despite not investing at all in any online marketing. So why do a lot of small businesses not invest in marketing? You might say that is because of a tight budget, but I doubt that. Because this business was investing a lot of money in other things. Money wasn't the problem.

One reason their online store became very successful was the fact that they already had a large customer base before they opened their store. So all they had to do was promote it and make sure people would use it. We would go to events, which we attended each year, and would promote the store with flyers. Every time somebody ordered we would glue stickers on each box informing people we had an online store. And we would have special discounts for people that ordered online.

But the fact that they didn't invest in online marketing baffled me. Yes they were doing great because they had a loyal customer base who regularly came back. But in my opinion they were missing out on a lot of opportunities. They don't have a blog, they don't do much on social media besides IG, and they aren't doing any Google ads or Facebook ads at all. So why not?

I guess the biggest reason was mainly due to the fact that this business originally started without a website. Sales were done offline, mainly by phone, fax, or from door to door sales. What I mean is that my boss didn't know much about online marketing, which isn't very uncommon for small businesses. 

Small business owners tend to want to be in control of everything. They want to keep an eye on everything. And if they don't know how to do something themselves they often think it's unnecessary or obsolete. They are afraid they cannot control it, so they don't even bother trying it.

Besides that, they want to keep an eye on their employees, but if they dont know what they are doing, it will be hard for them to monitor them. Many small business owners are control freaks. They want to know exactly what their employees are doing, to make sure they are not wasting their time or doing unnecessary things.

Many come from a time before the ecommerce boom. Believe it or not, but there was a time where most businesses did not have an online store. And yes I know, a lot of people still don't have it. But online sales are growing and are expected to grow even more. "In 2020, retail e-commerce sales worldwide amounted to 4.28 trillion US dollars and e-retail revenues are projected to grow to 5.4 trillion US dollars in 2022." 

The fact that this business did not start with an online store, emphasizes the fact that these people don't know how to create and run a successful store. They are used to the thing they did before, so they cannot easily make the transition to online.

I remember when I started working at this business. They had a very very small website, and I believe it only showed a part of their collection, people were not able to order directly. The website was messy and the CMS was horrible. My boss didn't like computers and didn't have any interest in learning any computer related skills. She only wanted to be able to read the email. If you have a mindset like this, it will be hard to create a successful online store.

But if you are growth focused and want your business to succeed, you have to eventually move to online as well. That doesn't mean you have to totally give up your physical store. A lot of customers like to physically see the product before they buy it. Which makes it a lot easier for you to sell and keep customers in the long run. But you should try and promote your online store all the time. Everybody that enters your store should be reminded that you have an online store. And you should give them enough reason to shop online next time.

I hope this post gave you some insights, and I hope you understand that an online store is a great addition to your existing store. I hope you will do some research and start your own online store ASAP. If you have any questions, please let me know.

About the author:
Hello, my name is Ron Hoekstra, founder of The Liberty OnDemand. I hope you like my content, if you want to know more about me, please read here or subscribe to my newsletter where I will keep you up to date with new posts and other useful content.