I thought this article had a very good response to that question. Highlight for me: "As a small-business owner, every time you place yourself in front of current or potential customers presents an opportunity to impact their perception of your firm. So, from that standpoint, "investing" in your reputation has already begun. The real question becomes: "When does it make sense to hire someone to help create a strategy and help manage our reputation?" The answer lies in the value of each customer to the business. For instance, if you know that most people who use your product or service don't really form an opinion about your reputation until after trying it, promotions and other lead generation may suffice." Full article here: http://www.startribune.com/outside-consultant-should-a-small-business-invest-in-pr/384351001/