“I feel like I should be able to do this. I mean, I run a small business, I’m a consumer, I’m really smart. Yet I find I just need help. Why can’t I do this?”

Sound familiar?

When it comes to marketing, many small businesses question why they need help.  Entrepreneurs:  It’s time to let yourself off the hook. And it’s time to recognize the value in professional expertise.

To be clear – this article isn’t intended to justify Popcorn & Ice Cream (or any other marketing firm or consultant)’s existence or fees.  Rather its goal is to help explain the value in professional marketing… and why it is more than ok to raise the white flag and pay for help.

Most business owners don’t question themselves when choosing to hire an accountant or an attorney. Why? Because the risks associated with mistakes are simply too big. Or perhaps more obvious. Many business owners are also comfortable outsourcing administrative support and bookkeeping as the business grows and needs become too cumbersome.  Yet when it comes to marketing – another key pillar in business growth – for some reason, the same rationales don’t apply.

While we’re recreational cooks, we’re not experts in baking amazing cake pops. We have young kids and are great babysitters, but we’re certainly not qualified to tutor elementary school kids. And while we exercise regularly, we’re by no means personal trainers. So why should professional bakers, tutors or trainers building businesses around these amazing talents be expert marketers? They shouldn’t.

Whatever your business, you’re the expert in that product or service. Marketing companies and consultants are experts in how to help you grow that business. They have seen what’s worked and what hasn’t. They can help you apply those supposed best practices and top ten lists of must-do tactics cluttering every blog and online magazine to make them work for your business. And they often have training and education specific to marketing.

As with any professional service, all marketers are not created equal. Some specialize in a particular industry while others focus on one element of the marketing mix or another. Unfortunately as with anything, some simply don’t live up to expectations and give others a bad name. So vet a potential resource before you hire – check references and set expectations. But no matter whom you hire, be ok with it. Marketing is as much a specialty as legal services and accounting. It’s time to let go of the “I should be able to do this.”

PS – Marketing services (along with those of your accountant, attorney, or any other professional service provider) are tax deductible as a business expense. So you really have no excuse.