If sales growth is slowing, Paul doesn't have the leisure to study and then train someone. He can hire a firm to develop a strategy for him and give him the steps he needs to follow. If it's more economical to do some of the steps in-house, he could then hire someone to implement the strategy -- but often, for something like this, the variety of skills involved makes it cheaper to hire a firm than to do everything in house.
Part of my response to this is based on the nature of the business, but it's often better to hire a company to cover specialized and varied tasks such as those involved in fulfillment or web marketing. One person can rarely do all the jobs involved, and the costs tend to be higher without the economy of scale enjoyed by a specialized firm.
Submitted Jun 8, 2012 11:40 AM
I'd look at this as a 'none-of-the-above' fits well. The key (to me) is the word haphazard. There seems to be no plan in place.
Paul should start at the beginning. This is pretty much a classic, non-systemized department. Of course the uniqueness in the beginning of the startup caused sales to increase. Unfortunately, without a plan for growth, a plan for marketing and a plan for hiring, there is absolutely no potential in the future.
Paul shouldn't hire anyone as yet. He also doesn't need to learn the work or try to fit it into his schedule. He should, however, apply his skills as a leader, identify the goals of the webstore, identify the budgets, and, before hiring anyone, prepare a complete description of the position, the function, the duties and the responsibilities... along with the goals.
Then, once he has spent some quality time working ON this part of his business, he can move forward with a little knowledge.
Submitted Jun 14, 2012 8:34 AM
I'd suggest "b":
(b) Engage an outside marketing company who have experts in the many skills required to handle the advertising and promotion.
Two of the four choices offered suggested hiring someone. Since sales have slowed, Paul may not have the funds to hire an additional employee, and he probably does not have time to train them in marketing.
The best choice is to engage an outside marketing firm that has years of experience in Internet marketing and that specializes in the fields where Paul and his customers reside. Yes, there are Internet marketing firms who specialize in the B2B/Industrial/Manufacturing sectors. A Google search will reveal them to Paul.
Submitted Aug 5, 2012 9:12 AM