Did you watch the House Rules season finale last week? If you didn’t catch it (or the rest of the season), here’s all you need to know – a bunch of couples battle it out to have their mortgage completely paid off, but like all good reality shows, there can only be one winner.

While chatting to a few friends about House Rules the other day, I started thinking. Renovating a house reveals more than a few similarities to marketing your own business.

For starters, those who renovate usually have all their spare time and extra cash tied up in their house – it’s their biggest investment. I’ve yet to meet a small business owner who is only ‘a little bit invested’ in the success of their business!

Here are a few more similarities:

1. The work never stops

As anyone who has ever renovated a house can relate to, it seems like the work never stops. Even when the paint has dried and the sawdust has been cleaned up, there’s always something else to do.

It’s the same with small business marketing – you have to be consistent and there is always something else to do. The trick to beating the burnout is to have a plan in place from the start, and to be as smart as you can in using all of today’s technological advantages to make the execution of your plan easy.

Social media is a prime example of the work never stopping. But social media consistency is easy when you can stick to a routine, and have a smart plan for creating consistency.

2. You should want to tell everyone about it

Your business isn’t a secret that should be kept close to your chest. There’s nothing wrong with telling the world about what you do – and why you’re good at it!

When you’re renovating, it ends up being something that consumes you. You tell people about it, you post pictures to Instagram in your best renovation clothes, and everyone who stops by your house has to sit through the before and after photos (or is that just me?). Kitchen appliances and paint colours have never been so interesting – all of a sudden you’ll notice that your local coffee shop has walls very similar to White Mist.

It’s exactly the same with your business. Your passion is what makes you, as a business owner, exciting to work with. Let your passion shine through in your marketing, and tell everyone about what makes your business special.

3. Don’t try it in front of a giant audience unless you’re great at it.

As we were nearing the end of our renovation journey, I jokingly said to my husband, “Hey, we’re pretty good at this – we should try out for a reality show!” He looked at me and said, “Yeah, but the problem is, only one of us is good at renovating.”

(I’ll give you a hint…I am not that person.)

The truth is, putting yourself out there in front of a giant audience is a big risk. There’s a delicate balance between this point and the previous one. When you’re marketing your business, enthusiasm won’t get you all the way there – there needs to be a professional plan and strategy behind what you’re doing. Consumers (and reality TV viewers) are pretty good these days at spotting someone who’s making it up as they go along.

My advice would be, try your marketing out on a small scale – think family, friends and trusted advisors – before you put yourself out there on a large scale.

4. At the end of the day, a professional will give you the ultimate peace of mind.

Doesn’t this go without saying? I know we’re never DIY renovating again. After all, you’re looking for return on investment, just like a renovator!


Sarah-Joy Pierce is a copywriter, marketing strategist and consultant. She is passionate about small businesses reaching their full potential and telling the world what they do. More at www.sarahjoypierce.com.