July 28, 2014
Choosing a small business marketing company that you can trust can be a difficult process.
By Maureen McCabe
In Part 1 of this series, I discussed tips to help you choose a small business marketing company. These points outlined the basics of selecting a company that is experienced and can help you achieve your business goals. (There’s now a Part 3 too.)
For this blog post, I’ve put together an additional 6 tips that can help you decide which marketing company you should trust with your business and marketing dollars.
1. Do They Ask Questions About YOU?
When interviewing a potential small business marketing company in Toronto, you’ll often have a lot of questions about the company, their services, and their results. However, a good indicator of whether or not they truly care about their clients’ success is if they ask questions about your business.
A trustworthy and reputable marketing agency will really take the time to understand how your business works, its unique challenges, your business model, and your target market. You should always choose to hire a company that “gets” you and your small business.
2. Ask Them How They Define Success
Before you sign any contracts, ask your potential Toronto marketing company how they would define a successful outcome of a project or marketing campaign. This is an excellent way to determine if their version of success is in line with your goals. However, if a marketing company struggles to explain what a successful outcome will be, you should be wary. Without a clear goal in mind, it’s hard to measure whether or not your investment was worthwhile.
3. Evaluate Their Communication Skills
It’s very important to work with a company that communicates openly with their clients. As a small business owner, it can be difficult to let some of your business processes be handled by an outsider — you’ll want to be in the loop at all times. Transparency is key when it comes to small business marketing companies.
The marketing company should be responsive, and should be very clear about expectations and the results of your marketing efforts. Take a look at how the company communicates with you during the initial stages of your research. Do they get back to you quickly with quotes or further information? This is a good indicator of what communication will be like if you decide to work with them.
4. Size Isn’t Everything
Bigger is not always better, and less can be more. Don’t write off a company because it only has a few employees. It’s worth considering the size of a marketing company when making your choice.
- If a company is large and serves big brands, will your small business get lost in the shuffle?
- How many other clients does the company have?
- Do they usually work with small businesses in Toronto?
- If you do choose a smaller marketing agency, do they have the experience and expertise you’re looking for?
It’s wise to consider these factors before you make your choice.
5. Can They Work With Your Budget?
Costs are a huge consideration when you are looking at hiring a small business marketing company in Toronto. As you begin your search, know exactly how much you can afford to spend on your marketing.
Evaluate the rates of each of the companies you are interested in working with, and look for one that can work within your budget. Many companies may try to upsell you, but others may be willing to create a customized plan that matches your business needs and your finances.
6. Who Will You Be Dealing With?
Ask any prospective marketing company who you will actually be dealing with once you’ve signed on. Who will be on your team, and how are they qualified? Are these individuals experienced in your industry and marketing for small business?
Ensure you know who your point of contact will be at the company and what role they will play on an ongoing basis. Most importantly, make sure you are comfortable working with these people and that you trust them — hopefully you’ll be working together for a long time!
Stay tuned to my blog for more tips on choosing a small business marketing company! To read more about small business marketing, take a look at these blog posts:
Choosing a Small Business Marketing Company – Part 1
Choosing a Small Business Marketing Company – Part 3
What is “marketing branding” for your small business?
8 “How to” tips to avoid money burning marketing mistakes that reduce small business profits
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