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Small Business Marketing Services


How do you want to lighten your load? Do you need long term marketing help? Temporary assistance? Occasional collaboration and insight? 2Q Solutions is designed to meet you at your point of need.

Interval Coaching | Short Term Projects | Outsourced Marketing department

Depending on your resources and what you want to accomplish there are three ways you can get marketing help from 2Q Solutions. 

1) Interval Coaching: As a small business owner it's easy to get distracted and it helps to know that you have someone to help keep you on track with your marketing plans. This is simple, occasional consultation at whatever frequency makes sense for you. We help you make plans and discuss ways to improve your marketing efforts and get better results. Learn more about Interval Coaching.

2) Short Term Marketing Projects: You have some marketing plans in mind, or you need some fresh ideas. You're busy running the day-to-day aspects of your business, and you can't afford to stop the presses to dig into your marketing efforts. You just need help for a short period of time.

3) Outsourced Marketing Department: You want to work with someone on a longer term basis without hiring a permanent employee. You don't have much tolerance for detail or administration, and you need someone who will bring some ideas to the table and implement marketing plans. You want occasional written reports to see what kind of performance you're getting out of your marketing dollars.


Get help where you need it: There are several areas were we can work together to improve your marketing efforts. Some of these are done by Steve Smart and some elements are outsourced and coordinated by Steve

Here are a few of the areas where 2Q Solutions can be helpful to you:

Contact 2Q today! Find how small business marketing services will lighten your load and help your business grow. 

Solve the Right Problem

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


run time: 3:42

Are you solving the wrong problems?

In my junior year of high school I was sick for a few days and missed some classes. I did, however, have someone bringing my homework to me. I hated algebra but I was very proud that I was able to solve one particular problem. I handed in my paper with a big smile, only to find out that I was confused about the instructions and had solved the wrong problem. Even though I got it right I got no credit for it.

Part of your success in business depends on solving the right problems. Some problems are high level and have big implications. Others are lower impact but still effect your bottom line.

Pay Attention to High Impact Problems

Here's a high impact example from my friend George and his motorcycle shop. He wasn't meeting his revenue goals for his service department. He spent more money on marketing and it started working… all too well. His volume quickly exceeded his capacity and he ended up with angry customers. It was no surprise that they didn't refer anyone and they give him bad reviews..

In this case, the first problem to solve related to capacity and customer satisfaction.

Right now I'm thinking of a client who wants to grow his business. We decided to first pay attention to client satisfaction. We're improving the machine before cranking it up. We want to first grow through existing clients who will return and refer others. If we fail to do that, we'll waste a lot of money on marketing and end up with frustrated employees and dissatisfied clients.

Low Impact Problems Also Matter


Fix Your Small Problems First

Ken Homza is a fractional CFO, an associate and a friend. His book titled, "Your Cash Is Flowing" is available on Amazon. Ken has a chapter in his book titled "Fix Your Small Problems First." It's not about focusing on the trivial, it's about solving small problems before they become big ones. Ken gives a great example of a leaky roof. If you don't repair it you'll soon have a bigger problem to deal with. By the way, I heartily recommend Ken's book.

Asking Good Questions is the Key

So what is the right problem to solve? There is no crystal ball or banner in the sky that will tell you what to do. Here's my suggestion: refrain from shooting from the hip. Learn how to step back, take a view from the larger perspective and ask good questions.

Learning how to identify and solve the right problems will help you become more profitable while reducing headaches.

Steve Smart works with busy entrepreneurs who want to improve their marketing efforts. He lives in St. Louis and can be reached at or 636-699-8772.



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Outshine Your Competition

Thursday, April 02, 2015


Star light star bright how do I outshine competitors tonight?

The north star. The big dipper. Orion's belt. I learned about stars and constellations as a kid but I can’t remember much more than that. I guess I’ll have to turn in my astronomy merit badge.

What is it that makes those stars stand out among others? Are they closer? Are they bigger?

I don’t think many people really care about the why. What we do know is this: For centuries the stars and constellations have been a source of inspiration for lovers, guidance for sailors and wide-eyed wonder for children all over the world.

When it comes to business we DO care about the why and how. We want to know how we can stand out and outshine our competitors.

There are different ways to think about this. One way is to think in terms of distinctions and what makes you different, better and more attractive. It’s about identifying and exploiting your strengths. But how do you do that?

I’ve found that it’s typically hard for business owners to think clearly about this kind of thing. We’re so close to our own business it’s hard to be objective.

Working through your distinctions will help you identify your strengths.

I divide distinctions into three different types;

  • Philosophical Distinctions
  • Mechanical Distinctions
  • Validating Distinctions

Each of these three distinctions represent a different reason for people to be attracted to you and say YES to you.

Philosophical distinctions

These relate to your values, beliefs and approach to life or business. It gives people a reason to say, “Yes, I like that about them. I can relate to that. It resonates with me.”

Here’s an example: A couple years ago Panera launched its "Live consciously, eat deliciously" campaign. The idea was to give voice to their values so people connect with their brand on a more emotional level.

"Mechanical" distinctions.

This relates to the way people interact with you or your product. It may or may not be something physical. It gives people a reason to say, "Yes, I like the way that works." Let me give you a couple examples:

You might know about a new product on the market called The Nest. It's a self-learning, programmable thermostat. What people like about The Nest is how they interact with the product, or DON'T interact with it. The Nest learns your schedule, programs itself and can be controlled by your phone. Pretty cool. I like the way it works.

I also like to use Amazon as an example for the way I interact with them. They keep my billing and shipping information so I don't have to enter it every time. And I can create any number of wish lists. There are several other features I appreciate and yep, you guessed it. I like the way Amazon works.

Validating distinctions.

They give people a reason to say, "Yes, I like that. I can trust them." It relates to things like certifications, special knowledge or remarkable experience.

Let me give you a couple of examples: Turner Motorsport is a company that sells performance parts for BMWs. They also have a race team that does pretty well. Because of their own experience testing and proving their parts at the race track people like me figure they're a resource they can trust.

I'll give you a local example. Weber Chevrolet recently ran some ads that talked about the how many years their employees have been working there. It leaves me with this impression: If their employees stick around for so long, I figure they're trustworthy.

There's one final point I want to make. Using this process can not only help you discover the strengths you have, it can also help you identify strengths you can create and develop.

So what makes you different, better and more attractive? How do you outshine your competitors?

Do you need some coaching? I'm Steve Smart. Give me a call and I'll be happy to be of service.

Steve Smart works with busy entrepreneurs who want to improve their marketing efforts. He lives in St. Louis and can be reached at or 636-699-8772.



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