Top 10 Excuses Small Business Owners Make for Not Doing Marketing

Liz Taurasi
June 27, 2017

Stop making excuses! Online marketing and social media are effective tools for growing your small care business.

Marketing your small business can be the difference maker when it comes to bringing more customers and clients in the door. Yet many small business owners today find themselves making excuses as to why they aren’t taking advantage of all the tools out there to easily and effectively market their business.

They say they don’t have the time, or the budget or the know-how. Or they simply don’t understand the benefits of low-cost, high-impact online marketing. Any of these excuses, which are incredibly common, can put a small business at a standstill when it comes to getting the word out to current and potential customers.

"It takes some getting organized at the outset, but developing a system and building a daily marketing habit can help your business overcome the excuses of not having time, money or ideas,” says Beth Lawton, owner of Canoe Media Services based in Alexandria, VA.

Here are the top 10 excuses small business owners make for not marketing their business online. And why they really don’t hold up.

  1. There’s Just Not Enough Time
    Business owners say they don’t have enough time to focus on marketing. But not marketing your business means not growing your customer base and not maintaining the customers you have. Making time to market your business is a sound investment. Lawton says a good solution is to set aside a specific time every week or every few days to handle marketing tasks. “I find if you put it on your calendar, you're less likely to skip it,” she says.
  2. But I’m Already Doing Other Things
    Running a business means wearing a lot of hats. Nobody’s saying small business owners aren’t busy keeping their customers happy and offering the services they need. The mainstays of running a business are definitely important. You could be the best tutor, dog walker or day care owner in the world, but your services aren’t going to sell themselves if nobody knows about them. Get out there and start spreading the word!

    READ MORE: How SEO Can Help Small Businesses
  3. I’m Not Clever Enough for Marketing
    Even if you’re not the type who has ideas popping into your head all day, there are ways to develop marketing campaign ideas. Try putting together a calendar of what you have coming up for your business – whether it’s looking at seasonality, key events or more – and think about how you’d tell your friends, family and customers about these events. Inspiration doesn’t have to come from out of the blue. When the holidays come around, do you offer promotions? Like house cleaning ahead of the holidays or events at your daycare center focused on the time of year? Things you already do annually, based on events and time of year, are a great starting point for generating marketing ideas.   
  4. I Don’t Know Anything About Marketing
    You don’t have to. The good news about online marketing is there are plenty of low-risk ways to get started – from using social media to building a website and creating a profile on an online marketplace, like To take your business to the next level, you might even consider outsourcing. A consultant can do anything from helping you build up your social media following to shaping your branding image. Yes, it could cost you a little money, but in the long run will be worth it. "Sometimes the key to success is knowing when to call in the reserves," Lawton says.

    READ MORE: Back-to-School Marketing Strategies for Your Small Business
  5. I Don’t Have the Budget
    That’s OK. With 74 percent of online adults using social networking sites, you can actually do some marketing for short money with strong results because social media is the new word of mouth. Both Facebook and Twitter have advertising opportunities that don’t cost a lot of money (less than traditional advertising) and allow small businesses to key in on the specific people and places they want to target their advertising to.
  6. I Don’t Have Time to Build a Website
    Small business owners simply don’t have a lot of time. Thankfully, there are several simple, intuitive website building platforms out there to help you build a professional website in short order. Sites like, Strikingly, WordPress and Weebly can help you get your website built and in working order in just an hour or two. If you’re still not sold on building your own website, try creating a profile on online marketplaces, like – it’s an even quicker way to reach customers online and if you start getting good results there, then a website just might be worth your time.  
  7. I Have Enough Customers
    When business owners have business coming in, they don’t think they need to be marketing. But they’re wrong. Being proactive about growing your business is super important to your long-term success. “When your know your phone is going to ring and you have repeat business you don’t think about marketing,” says Rob Sisti, a Boston-based marketing expert. “But when customers stop coming, that’s when you realize you really need to be marketing.” If you stay ahead and always marketing, Sisti says won’t have to spend a ton of time ramping up marketing efforts when you really realize you need it.
  8. Social Media is a Waste of Time
    Some business owners hate social media. They want their privacy and want to be out in the media talking about themselves. This is incredibly short-sighted. Social media should be about your business, not the business owner.

    READ MORE: Should Your Small Business Start Social Media Marketing?
  9. Everyone Already Knows About Us
    Do they really though? While you most certainly have your core customers no doubt, what about people new to the area who may be looking for just what you have to offer? Or someone who has been going to a competitor for years, had a bad experience and is looking to make a change? If you’re a child care provider maybe you’re approaching a year when many of your children are moving onto school -- which means lower enrollments. Proactive marketing efforts will help mothers with children who need your services find you when they begin their initial search, something most may not have had any previous experience with. Marketing your business will continue to drive more customers in to keep growing your base and continuing to make your business a success.
  10. My Business Doesn’t Work Online
    It’s true a family might not sign their pooch up for your doggie daycare the first time they see you on Facebook, but by promoting your business online you can reach far more potential clients than you could by word of mouth or traditional advertising. By maximizing your website and promoting your offerings on social media you can actually reach the customers you are looking for right in your own backyard with ease and without spending a ton of money. 

If you are looking to build clients for your own caregiving business, find a job on

Tips and stories from parents and caregivers who’ve been there.

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