Steps to Creating a Marketing Budget for Your Small Business.
As a small business owner, there are several things you have to put in place for the smooth operation of your business. One of the most essential investments you need to make in growing your business is marketing it. It is one thing to run a business, it is another thing for people to know that you run a business and have a clear picture of what your business has to offer. This is where marketing your business comes in.
Marketing, however, is not free. Even though some marketing channels/strategies, both online and offline, are cheaper than others. Whatever marketing technique you would be using to reach your target audience, it is important for you to have a budget to manage your finance properly. But, before creating a marketing budget, there are certain steps you need to take and certain things you need to consider. These factors will determine your marketing needs. And we know that marketing needs differ from business to business, so also does the budget for marketing. Having said that, the following steps would help you create a marketing budget fit for your business.
Understand Your Business Goals
This is important for everyone who owns a business. Your business goals keep you on track; they are the driving force that prevents you from losing focus in your business. Furthermore, they determine where you put your money. They help you know what is important to your business and what is not, especially when making your marketing plans. These goals could be long-term or short-term. The short-term goals are made up of objectives. They accumulate towards the long-term goals and hence, determine what your marketing plans should include at every point in time. And that will, in turn, affect your budget.
Study Your Target Audience
Another factor that will determine your marketing needs and goals are your target audience. So, before creating a marketing budget for your small business, there are several questions you need to ask yourself including:
- Who are my target audience/ potential customers?
- What medium do they use the most for taking in information?
- Which format speaks to them?
- How is their personality? Etc.
Questions like these help you get a clearer picture of what marketing technique would appeal to your target audience for them to become willing buyers and loyal customers. And you also need to determine whether it will be expedient to market to them digitally or traditionally. For instance, if your audience is populated on the net, then digital marketing is the best to employ. If they are vastly off the net, then traditional marketing through physical interaction may be the best way to reach them. And since the capital required is different for each of these marketing channels, you will need to factor that in when creating your budget.
Know What Your Competitors are Doing
For your business to thrive, you have to know and monitor your competitors. This includes knowing new trends in your industry and how your competitors are incorporating them into their business. When you employ this competitive analysis, you would be able to spot ways in which you can perform better and incorporate them into your marketing efforts. This is part of the popular SWOT analysis which requires determining your business’ strengths and weaknesses; as well as the opportunities and threats from your competitors. This will come in handy in figuring out your marketing strategies and in creating a marketing budget for your small business.
Consider Your Business’ Growth Journey Stage
Is your business in the growth mode or planning mode? The mode in which your business is currently operating determines the level of effort you should place in marketing it. In the growth mode, you would need to generate revenue quickly. So opting for a marketing technique that would bring immediate returns would be best at this stage. On the other hand, the planning mode requires less focus on revenue and more focus on growth. This means that you would be able to invest in long-term marketing techniques that yield results over time. And as expected, this should also be factored in in your marketing budget.
Take Your Costs of Operation Into Account
Operational costs are a major part of the marketing budget for your small business. This is where you take into consideration factors like if you need to employ new people, agencies, or software to carry out your marketing plan or if it is something your current staff can handle in addition to their current workload. How much it would cost and how long it would take? Also, take into account the cost of miscellaneous expenses that you may encounter during your marketing campaign. Your budget should be within your earnings power so that you don’t run into a loss.
You are well on your way to having a breakthrough in the productivity of your business by applying the tips we have given in this article to create a marketing budget for your small business. Thank you for reading, let us know in the comment section if you found this article useful.