Surprise 1) Marketing for a small business is fun. Learning how to make the most of a small budget is a challenge but the results can be impressive at least and amazing at best.
Surprise 2) Producing marketing materials that are going to be effective takes time. It may look like three simple paragraphs of text but to ensure it gets the message right takes experience, knowledge and insight.
Surprise 3) It is better to review your marketing efforts when things are going well rather than wait until your business is in crisis.
Surprise 4) You won't like every marketing person/agency you meet. Keep searching till you find one you can work with.
Surprise 5) If your marketing strategy is getting you the results you hoped for then ask your agency to come up with some revolutionary new ideas. Never take the 'if it isn't broke don't fix it approach'.