Day 9: The Intern

Day 9 0f 30. Let’s say you, a small business owner, need some fast marketing. Should you hire an intern and put it on their plate?

This happens every day- you get a kid out of college (or out of high school, or middle school, or your neighbor, or your nephew, or your niece, or your cousin, or your family member or even your own kid) and bring them on your team. Sometimes small businesses will take on whoever is available and say, “Hey do some marketing. I’m busy doing operations,” which is totally understandable. I get that impulse. You recognize that you have a need to get your message out into the market, but your resources are sparse. You think you just have to pull in $7.25 or whatever minimum wage is right now, and that seems easy enough, right? Here’s the problem with that:

Marketing in a lot of arenas is a pay-to-play situation, so with that approach, you’re going to lose money.

Not just the money that you’re putting into that person- you’re going to lose money on the actual cost of these platforms. And if you have a good enough product that the world needs and recognize the need to market it well, you’re missing a huge opportunity. The opportunity cost is through the roof on this one.

Treat your business well. Treat your product, your service, and your team well by speaking well of them out in the market. Find customers that are good fits for your company.

As somewhat of an aside- the other downside of hiring an intern is that sometimes they’ll phone in sick. Then sometimes they’ll phone in less sick and more I’m not really coming in anymore. Maybe you get really lucky and just nail it and find that person who really should be your next executive- that does happen. We’ve been lucky enough to have that happen for our own shop, but 9 times out of 10 you get what you pay for. So, don’t do the real core function of marketing that way. Actually respect it. Actually put some effort into it. It’ll make your business a lot better.

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