Going into business is the dream of many people. Being a business owner represents a level of freedom and a potential for greater earmarking potential, but it seems there is something going wrong with the dream. Figures derived from chambers of commerce from western countries all tell a similar story. The rate of business failure is extremely high. While there are all sorts of variables involved with running a business, from choice of niche area, location, name, supply chains and pricing; there is one specific variable that has an intense influence on the income and that is marketing .

I speak with business owners of all sorts during the course of my work, I often ask them questions about how they go about promoting their business. Invariably I get responses like: “We do not have a website, but we do have a Facebook page, it does not really seem to do very much for us, we do not have many 'likes' and not many people visit it We spend a lot on radio and local newspaper adverts “While I know there are lots of savvy business owners out there, that response is quite typical of a range of business. What I usually try to do is explain that online marketing is an integration of many strategies, and that a Facebook business page must be managed. The style of posting must carefully chosen on all social media to encourage engagement, and natural discussions, not one directional advertising. Some are prepared to listen, and some of these become my clients. There are many that do not seem to quite get what I am saying, or maybe think they can muddle on by themselves. I have to say how is that working out for you so far?

There really is a new paradigm in marketing, many of the channels used almost exclusively even up to about 2-3 years ago are experiencing a dramatic reduction in demand. Newspapers are increasingly abandoning their paper publications and moving to an online model, AM / FM radio is competing with internet radio stations that are springing up all over the world, television is being challenged by online video channels and podcasting. It is very clear that the internet is the primary medium of our times.Where all the people are, that is where marketing efforts are best directed. Business is being done online at increasing rates, businesses are being searched for and engaged with from smart mobile phones, tablets, and of course desktop PC's. The smart business owner should be directing their marketing primarily online to maximize return on investment. Putting up a half-hearted Facebook business page, or one that surely acts as a bill board is never going to cut it, you may as well not bother. Beginning with a Facebook page that is assembled with good quality graphics. You should then go about posting interesting, concise stories about your business, short videos explaining what your business does, with humor and emotion preferably. Pictures, short text that invites comment works best with visitors derived from targeted advertising. This is the great strength of Facebook, its advertising platform is unique. With Facebook advertising it is possible to direct your messages to precisely the people who are interested in your business area, right down to each demographic detail. You can place the ads on their timeline, not just the sidebar.

Recent changes to the Facebook advertising platform have enabled the use of videos. Facebook is not the only game in town, of course, there are many other channels, with specific communication styles that appeal to different sections of the world community. Not every social media channel is going to be relevant to your business area, nor should you attempt to cover all of the social media platforms. I would suggest that the costs of hiring an online marketer to help you is going to pay massive dividends, by cutting costs on your marketing you are practicing false economy. I see this all the time, it is understandable, but quite wrong.

Today's business owner is advised to direct their marketing efforts online to a ratio of 80% online, to 20% offline and it is advisable to hire an online expert to manage your online presence. You have enough to do running your business, you can not be expected to devote the time in keeping up with online changes. If this is not possible, at least get someone to set up your website, and your Facebook business page. If you do this, you are assured of still being in business long after the statistics indicate you will probably fail, about 1 to 2 years.