Are you an entrepreneur? Do you have a business with fewer than 500 employees and less than $50 million in revenue? If so, may I take a moment to thank you for what you do for our economy and our country.
Nearly every book or CD on marketing and advertising has, unfortunately, a similar shortcoming. Most of them focus on the strategies and tactics employed by the largest national or multi-national companies that constitute only about 1/2 of 1% of American businesses. I refer to these behemoths as “mega-marketers”.
I believe so strongly that entrepreneurial businesses are the heart and soul of American commerce that I refer to them as Bedrock Businesses. Businesses with annual sales between $250,000 and $49,000,000 make up half of all businesses in America. They employ over 46% of our entire workforce, provide 41% of payroll, generate over 30% of all revenues and create two out of three new jobs. If this isn’t Bedrock, I’m missing something.
Let me spell out some major differences between Bedrock Businesses and Big and Mega businesses
- Bedrock businesses need immediate income from their marketing. National and mega-advertisers have the money, and therefore the luxury, to build their brand over a much longer period of time.
- Bedrock firms don’t have an advertising budget sufficient to attract a top agency to their side. Top ad agencies fight hard for such accounts as Chevrolet and Gillette or even the local car dealer or supermarket. These are desired accounts because agencies make their money based on the standard 15% commission paid to them by the media they buy for their clients - TV, Radio, Newspapers, Magazines, Billboards, etc. So the larger your traditional ad budget, the more the agency earns (If you’ve ever talked with an agency account exec, I’ll bet you got asked THE question early on…. “So, what’s your budget?” Most Bedrock firms, spend a larger portion of their much smaller budgets on brochures, internet marketing, website promotions, networking and other non-commissionable tactics so the agencies aren’t interested.
- Bedrock firms are far less likely to have an experienced, diverse marketing and copywriting department than would a large firm for many reasons.
- Bedrock companies are much more likely to be family owned than major corporations. Because of this trait they have a different set of priorities and concerns than national corporations.
- Bedrock companies often cannot weather bad decisions financially, whereas large corporations have the capital, credit, personnel, and time to rebound from serious blunders.
- Bedrock firms are critical to the economy of their community.
- Bedrock businesses must be marketed even more wisely and judiciously than the giant mega-corps. Each campaign must either produce or be changed. This means that because their very existence is tied closely to their marketing and advertising messaging and communications, they must strive every day to avoid falling into the primordial ooze of lackluster or even self-destructive marketing.
For all you Bedrock Entrepreneurs who have the ideas, defy the odds and work incredibly hard to build your business and realize your dream, I say God bless. Your family, your community and your country are better off for you.