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'Binge marketing' describes a behaviour I see all too often, particularly from those running a small business.

The classic cry of the binge marketeer is "I guess I'd better do some marketing". This is often said in the midst of a quiet spell with the belief that a few actions here and there will get things moving again!

It sometimes works, but often it does not. There can be many explanations for quiet spells and whilst marketing may not make you totally immune, it can certainly increase your flow of business opportunities.

Effective small business marketing is not an activity to be done in spurts, it should be constantly happening in your business. If we think of marketing as an engine, it needs to be ticking over steadily at all times. A quiet spell now, often signals a lack of marketing six or nine months ago.

Certainly there may be occasions where a particular marketing activity takes centre stage - a direct marketing campaign perhaps or a series of local advertisements - but these are tactical actions, not the whole story.

Being an ex-marketing consultant, I'm proficient at baffling people with marketing jargon, but that has no place here so let's concern ourselves with real live marketing actions that we can apply to our small business.

First up, I'd like to make 3 clear statements:

* Basic marketing is simple. * Anyone can do it and that includes YOU. * Marketing takes time to work. Stick with it and it will spread like a virus.

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Robert Gerrish (http://www.flyingsolo.com.au) is a Sydney-based coach working with those going it alone in business (Editor's Note: he's got some great tips on his site). He can be reached at robert@gerrish.com.au