Entrepreneurs Often Lack Marketing Help When Starting a Business


Launching a business is not without its challenges, and the more help, support and advice entrepreneurs receive, the likelier they are to succeed.

This was the finding of a report by Skynova, a small business resource for creating professional invoices using an online platform. Skynova’s ‘The Entrepreneurial Journey’ report surveyed 250 entrepreneurs about their work and lives to shed light on what the entrepreneurial journey looks like in 2021.

Marketing is a Top Challenge for Entrepreneurs

One notable finding of the research is that 40% of the entrepreneurs surveyed said that a marketing strategy was the biggest challenge when starting a business. 48% said the main challenge was dealing with the unknown, 44% said it was cashflow-related, and 43% considered the most pressing challenge when starting a business to be related to time management.

From helping to establish a brand to putting products and services in front of customers, the benefits of marketing speak for themselves when starting any kind of business. Despite this, many entrepreneurs are stumbling down with marketing requirements, as the survey reports.

Entrepreneurs Often Lack Marketing Help When Starting a Business

The Importance of Having a Business Plan

The importance of having a business plan is also highlighted in the survey. Out of the entrepreneurs interviewed that didn’t put together a business plan, only 38% worked on a marketing strategy. This compared to 43% who had a marketing strategy in place when they had a business plan.

Self-doubt and dealing with the unknown were other key issues impacting entrepreneurs who didn’t make a business plan when starting their own business. Summing up the importance of having a business plan, the authors of the report state:

“Those entrepreneurs who didn’t have a business plan when launching their business reported having greater challenges dealing with the unknown, self-doubt, and a lack of business knowledge.”

Entrepreneurs Often Lack Marketing Help When Starting a Business

Making Sacrifices are Worth It

The survey asked the entrepreneurs about the sacrifices they have made when starting their own business. Forfeiting financial stability was the leading sacrifice listed by the participants, with 64% of entrepreneurs admitting to sacrificing financial stability.

55% said losing their free time was the biggest sacrifice of getting a business up and running. 40% of the participants said it was sleep, 31% social life, and 28% said it was previous spending habits. Despite the sacrifices, 67% of entrepreneurs say making these sacrifices were extremely to very worth it.

The report shows that only 40% of entrepreneurs had a business plan when they launched their business. Those with a business plan took an average of two years for their business to succeed, and for those without a business plan, this number increased to three years.

Skynova’s study underscores several important issues when starting a business. The biggest takeaway of the report is the value of having a business plan. With a solid business plan, vital small business elements like having a marketing strategy in place are likelier to be fulfilled.

Entrepreneurs Often Lack Marketing Help When Starting a Business

The Impact of Business Plans on Entrepreneurial Success

A business plan can play a crucial role in shaping the trajectory of a new business. Skynova’s survey highlights the significance of having a well-structured business plan as a guiding framework for entrepreneurial success. Here’s a closer look at the insights from the survey:

  • Importance of Business Plans: Entrepreneurs who embarked on their business journey without a well-defined business plan faced a range of challenges, from dealing with the unknown to grappling with self-doubt. The absence of a business plan not only affected their strategic direction but also influenced their overall outlook on the entrepreneurial journey.
  • Marketing Strategy Alignment: The survey further emphasizes the correlation between having a business plan and implementing effective marketing strategies. Entrepreneurs with a solid business plan were more likely to have a marketing strategy in place, enabling them to navigate challenges associated with promoting their products and services. A business plan provides a clear roadmap for aligning marketing efforts with business goals.
  • Sacrifices and Worthiness: Starting a business often requires entrepreneurs to make sacrifices in various aspects of their lives. The survey reveals that many entrepreneurs were willing to forgo financial stability, free time, sleep, social life, and spending habits to bring their business visions to life. Despite these sacrifices, a significant majority of respondents expressed that the journey was well worth it, highlighting the resilience and determination of entrepreneurs.
  • Business Plan Duration and Success: The survey findings underscore the tangible impact of having a business plan on the speed of achieving entrepreneurial success. Entrepreneurs who had a business plan in place experienced quicker success, with their businesses thriving within an average of two years. In contrast, those without a business plan faced a longer timeline of approximately three years for their businesses to flourish.
  • A Blueprint for Success: Skynova’s study serves as a reminder of the vital role that business plans play in providing entrepreneurs with a blueprint for success. Beyond helping with strategic decEntrepreneurs Often Lack Marketing Help When Starting a Businessision-making, a well-crafted business plan can alleviate challenges related to marketing, uncertainty, and self-doubt. Aspiring entrepreneurs can draw valuable insights from these findings to create comprehensive business plans that pave the way for a smoother and more successful entrepreneurial journey.
Importance of Business PlansEntrepreneurs without defined business plans faced challenges, impacting strategic direction and overall outlook.
Marketing Strategy AlignmentSolid business plans correlated with effective marketing strategies, aiding in product promotion and goal alignment.
Sacrifices and WorthinessEntrepreneurs made sacrifices (financial stability, time, sleep) to pursue business dreams, finding the journey worthwhile.
Business Plan Duration and SuccessBusinesses with plans achieved success in around 2 years, while those without plans needed approximately 3 years.
A Blueprint for SuccessBusiness plans offer a blueprint, aiding decisions and overcoming challenges, contributing to smoother entrepreneurial journeys.

Essential Marketing Tools for Startups

Digital Marketing Tools

Startups must leverage digital marketing tools to streamline and enhance their marketing efforts. Key tools include Hootsuite or Buffer for social media management, Google Analytics for website traffic analysis, and Mailchimp for email marketing campaigns. These tools help automate tasks, analyze performance, and engage with the audience effectively.

Analytics and Tracking

Understanding the impact of marketing strategies is crucial. Analytics tools like Google Analytics or SEMrush offer insights into website performance, customer behavior, and SEO effectiveness. By analyzing data, startups can fine-tune their marketing strategies for better results.

Building a Strong Online Presence

Website Optimization

Your website is often the first point of interaction with potential customers. It should be user-friendly, mobile-responsive, and optimized for search engines. Key considerations include fast loading times, intuitive navigation, clear calls to action, and high-quality content that reflects your brand’s voice.

Social Media Strategies

A robust presence on social media platforms can significantly enhance brand visibility and customer engagement. Tailor your content to suit the nature of each platform, whether it’s professional networking on LinkedIn, visual storytelling on Instagram, or community engagement on Facebook. Regularly updating content and interacting with followers can build a loyal community around your brand.

Developing a Marketing Strategy on a Budget

Cost-Effective Marketing Techniques

Startups can explore low-cost yet high-impact marketing strategies. Content marketing, such as creating blogs, videos, or podcasts, offers valuable information to your audience while establishing your expertise. Guerrilla marketing, leveraging creativity over budget, can also generate buzz and visibility.

Leveraging Free Resources

There are numerous free or affordable marketing resources available for startups. Platforms like Canva for graphic design, WordPress for blogging, and Hootsuite’s free plan for social media management can be incredibly valuable. Additionally, engaging in online forums, webinars, and local networking events can provide exposure and learning opportunities without significant investment.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the significance of having a business plan for entrepreneurial success?

Having a well-structured business plan is crucial for shaping the trajectory of a new business. It acts as a guiding framework that not only defines your business goals and strategies but also helps overcome challenges and uncertainties commonly faced during the entrepreneurial journey.

What challenges do entrepreneurs face when starting a business?

According to Skynova’s report, entrepreneurs encounter a range of challenges when launching a business. These challenges include dealing with the unknown (48%), cashflow-related issues (44%), time management (43%), and the significant challenge of establishing an effective marketing strategy (40%).

How does a business plan impact marketing strategy alignment?

The survey findings emphasize the correlation between having a business plan and effective marketing strategy implementation. Entrepreneurs with a well-defined business plan are more likely to have a clear marketing strategy in place. This alignment enables them to effectively promote their products and services while aligning marketing efforts with their broader business goals.

What sacrifices do entrepreneurs make when starting a business?

Skynova’s survey reveals that entrepreneurs often make significant sacrifices when launching their businesses. These sacrifices include forfeiting financial stability (64%), losing free time (55%), sacrificing sleep (40%), social life (31%), and changing spending habits (28%). Despite these sacrifices, a majority of entrepreneurs (67%) express that these sacrifices are extremely to very worth it.

How does the presence of a business plan impact the timeline of entrepreneurial success?

The survey findings indicate that having a business plan significantly affects the timeline of achieving entrepreneurial success. Entrepreneurs who had a business plan in place experienced faster success, with their businesses thriving within an average of two years. In contrast, those without a business plan faced a longer timeline of approximately three years for their businesses to flourish.

How does a business plan contribute to a smoother entrepreneurial journey?

A well-crafted business plan provides entrepreneurs with a blueprint for success. It not only aids in strategic decision-making but also helps overcome challenges related to marketing, uncertainty, and self-doubt. By offering a clear roadmap and direction, a business plan enables entrepreneurs to navigate the complexities of starting and growing a business more effectively.

What can aspiring entrepreneurs learn from Skynova’s study?

Aspiring entrepreneurs can draw valuable insights from Skynova’s study. The study highlights the importance of having a business plan, especially for aligning marketing strategies and overcoming challenges. It also emphasizes the significance of sacrifices made during the entrepreneurial journey and how a well-structured business plan can expedite the path to success.

How can entrepreneurs create effective business plans?

To create an effective business plan, entrepreneurs should thoroughly analyze their business goals, target market, competition, and financial projections. It’s essential to outline strategies for marketing, operations, and growth. Additionally, seeking guidance from mentors, advisors, or business resources can provide valuable input for crafting a comprehensive and strategic business plan.

How can entrepreneurs ensure the success of their businesses?

Entrepreneurs can enhance their chances of success by not only creating a detailed business plan but also by continuously adapting and refining their strategies based on market trends and customer feedback. Regularly reviewing and updating the business plan allows entrepreneurs to stay agile and responsive to changing circumstances.

Where can entrepreneurs find resources for creating business plans and gaining support?

Entrepreneurs can find resources and support from various sources, including business associations, online platforms, business mentors, and small business resources like Skynova. These resources provide templates, guides, and advice to help entrepreneurs create effective business plans and navigate the challenges of entrepreneurship more successfully.

Conclusion: Navigating the Entrepreneurial Journey with Strategy and Resilience

Embarking on the entrepreneurial journey is filled with obstacles and learning curves. Skynova’s report, “The Entrepreneurial Journey,” delves into the crucial elements that underpin success in business ventures:

  • Marketing Challenges: Highlighting that 40% view marketing as a primary challenge, the report stresses the necessity of developing strong marketing strategies.
  • Importance of a Business Plan: It underscores the role of business plans in overcoming obstacles and achieving success more swiftly.

Key Takeaways from the Report

The report provides key insights into essential aspects of running a business:

  • Strategic Marketing: It emphasizes the need for expert guidance in brand development and customer engagement.
  • Role of a Business Plan: The significance of having a detailed and comprehensive business plan is highlighted as a cornerstone for business growth.

Sacrifices and Resilience

Entrepreneurship often demands personal sacrifices, a testament to the resilience required to succeed:

  • Entrepreneurs’ Sacrifices: Acknowledging the common sacrifices made by entrepreneurs, such as financial stability and personal time.
  • Resilience: The report celebrates the enduring spirit and determination of entrepreneurs in the face of these challenges.

Impact of Business Planning

Strategic business planning is shown to have a direct impact on the growth and sustainability of a business:

  • Accelerated Growth: Entrepreneurs with robust business plans tend to achieve success at a faster rate.
  • Long-Term Impact: Conversely, the absence of a plan can lead to a prolonged journey towards achieving business goals.

Guidance for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

For those aspiring to venture into entrepreneurship, the report offers a guideline for navigating this path:

  • Strategic Decisions: It emphasizes the importance of business plans in making crucial decisions.
  • Alignment of Efforts: The alignment of marketing strategies with overall business objectives is highlighted.
  • Adaptability and Sacrifice: Key traits such as adaptability and willingness to make sacrifices are essential for success in the entrepreneurial landscape.

Skynova’s report is a valuable resource for anyone embarking on an entrepreneurial journey. It brings to light the importance of planning, adaptability, and resilience, essential tools for navigating the complex world of business in today’s dynamic environment.

Image: Depositphotos

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Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 7 years. She is based in the United Kingdom and since 2006, Gabrielle has been writing articles, blogs and news pieces for a diverse range of publications and sites. You can read "Gabrielle’s blog here.".