A couple of years ago, I had a large regional accounting firm as a client. The firm focused on small- to medium-size businesses and had a very healthy practice. They engaged me to conduct a client audit and develop a marketing plan. The client audit yielded good information about the strengths and weaknesses of the firm. Suggestions about how the firm should market itself were substantive. The partners were pleased with the audit and the plan that I developed. Then the partners asked me when they should launch. I stunned them into silence when I told them marketing at this time would be a waste of their money. Can you imagine your marketing consultant telling you that he or she doesn't want you to spend money with them? After the short silence, one of the partners asked me if I was joking. Didn't I stand to benefit by being engaged to launch and oversee the plan? Why didn't I want to do it? The answer is illustrative of an important consideration for any small-business owner or entrepreneur: Not every business needs a marketing plan. In the case of my client, marketing made little sense, since its volume of business grew heavy in a sea of new accounting rules and regulations. A few years ago, in the wake of corporate accounting scandals such as Enron and MCI Worldcom, shareholders, politicians and government officials called for stronger oversight and controls. The result was the Sarbanes-Oxley law, which required more accountability and paper work and was a boon for the large national accounting firms.