Marketing is a major part of your business’s growth and profitability goals. In fact, without proper marketing, you could have the greatest product in the world but no one would know about it so you wouldn’t make any money. Many small businesses fail to allocate sufficient funds for marketing because they feel it is a waste of money and won’t provide any return. You have to spend money to make money. There are businesses that grow without spending any money on marketing but those are few and far between. If you’ve found your efforts to be lacking in results, it’s time to start ramping up your marketing strategy.
There needs to be a certain amount of awareness about your product or service, which we addressed earlier. Most products and services don’t sell themselves. It is up to YOU to sell them. Providing the service or supplying the product is usually the easiest part. It’s the SELLING that’s the hard part. In order to market correctly you need to know your budget.
To develop an efficient marketing budget, you need to put together your existing financial data and related information in an organized fashion. Seeing your financial situation on paper allows you to properly allocate funds for marketing.
You should start by looking at your earnings. When you know the amount of money made by your company monthly (with variations) you can better set a marketing budget. If you are only bringing in $1000 in revenue, then you shouldn’t be spending $5,000 per month marketing.
Look at your balance sheet. How much is coming in versus how much is going out. It sounds simple enough but, the truth is, many businesses have no clue what their financial situation is. They have a general idea but even this general idea may be completely different than what the financial realities are.
Allocating Marketing Funds
When you decide on your marketing budget, make a plan on HOW to spend this money. Don’t throw it down different avenues and hope one will produce. Do your research. What’s the most efficient way to reach your target audience? How much will it cost? Can you afford it? If not, is there another way to reach that same audience for a lesser amount?
Online ads are relatively cheap, as is email marketing. Look around your area. There may be opportunities for print ads at a low cost. Use social media…that’s free! This can help build your client base and get your name out there.
If you have a larger marketing budget then you can afford to go for higher priced strategies such as TV, radio, billboards, etc… Even with a small budget these options are available; you’ll just have to do more research and find the best deals.
Evaluate Your Marketing Plan Regularly
Once you’ve started marketing don’t forget to evaluate your plan regularly. Spending a lot of money advertising in the newspaper without seeing results? It’s time to nix those ads. Don’t waste time and money on marketing strategies that aren’t paying off. DO NOT sign a long term contract when you begin marketing. Most every company you advertise with will try to lock you in. Don’t do this. You may be stuck paying for a year of advertisements that don’t bring you a single customer.