Small Business Marketing Requires Progress, Not Perfection

Author: Cassi Lowe | Date: June 3, 2022 | Campaign Stage:

I work with many small business owners, and a common mistake I notice is the desire for perfection before moving forward. Often, a business owner will delay starting a campaign or launching a website because it's not "perfect" yet. We all want to put our best foot forward, but sometimes perfectionism is a procrastination tactic driven by fear.

It's normal to feel afraid that a marketing campaign won't deliver the results you want. As a small business owner, your marketing budget is likely tight, so you want to make sure you're going to get a return on your investment. This can make you delay starting until everything is perfect. However, the opposite is true - the sooner you get started, the sooner you can start learning and refining to improve results.

Focusing on progress, instead of perfection, will allow you to improve over time. Below are a few ways to help you get started on the right path.


When you start with Strategy first, you'll be able to make informed decisions and reduce anxiety over making the wrong choice. The Circuit Questionnaire will guide you through a series of questions to help you understand 5 key areas:

  1. The Brand (who is making the offer)
  2. Products & Services (i.e. what you actually deliver)
  3. The Proposition (i.e. what you promise or sell)
  4. The Problem you’re promising to solve
  5. And the Market you’re selling to.

By having a good understanding of these areas, you'll be able to make choices that help you move forward. For example:

  • Your products & services may dictate which advertising channels make the most sense.
  • Understanding the Problem you solve allows you to meet your potential buyers where they are in their buyers' journey.
  • Knowing your Market, you can decide which channels will help you reach them most efficiently.


Marketing is all about experimentation. Small changes in your campaigns can produce a big impact. Treat your marketing campaigns as a series of experiments, with the end goal being knowledge. It's okay to "fail" because that simply creates a new data point for you. Reflect on what you learned, make changes, and try again.

It's helpful to remember your elementary school science fair projects when trying a new marketing tactic:

  1. Question
  2. Hypothesis
  3. Procedure
  4. Results
  5. Conclusion

In practice this might look like:

  1. Question: If I post every day on Twitter and follow 5 new people everyday, will I grow my Twitter following?
  2. Hypothesis: I believe I will grow my following by 100% in 60 days because my target market uses Twitter consistently.
  3. Procedure: Post at least once per day and follow 5 relevant people every day.
  4. Results: At the end of 60 days, my account grew by X%.
  5. Conclusion: This procedure either worked, or it didn't.

Learn as You Go

The more "experiments" you perform, the more data you will collect, and the easier it will become to spot patterns. Keep records of the different tactics you try so you can review the results over time.

Products such as Google Analytics can help you see trends over time. Data analysis in marketing essential. Especially in digital marketing, you can easily see what works and what doesn't based on the data you collect. This data will help you make even better decisions in the future. But you won't have this advantage if you delay getting started because of perfectionism.

Author Bio:
Cassi Lowe is a marketing strategy consultant based in Indianapolis, IN. She's the main curator for the Open Source Marketing Project. She has over 15 years of experience in the web design & marketing field.

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