If you have a business, you need a marketing budget. I know, some businesses believe on location, location, location and others on word of mouth. Yet in today’s economy, we are seeing more and more businesses go out of business. When I walk down Main Street, there are more vacancy signs. Why didn’t their Location save them? I try to go back to that one place I like and it’s no longer there. Everyone was talking about them when they started, what happened? They didn’t think they needed marketing until their doors were closing. Then it was too late.
If huge,well know, businesses like Nike and Subway do marketing, don’t you think there is a reason why? Yes, because if you’re not talking about your business, then who is? If you’re not reminding them of how great you are, who will? And when people stop walking down your street and stop talking about your business, what then?
A lot of smaller businesses don’t think about marketing because they don’t think they can afford it. They don’t have the tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars the big corporations have. What most over-look is that you don’t need to start that big. You can start with a few hundred dollars a month and maybe less depending on how much time you want to dedicate to your marketing. If you can’t do it yourself due to time or knowledge restraints, you will have to pay someone to do it for you.
With the Internet, there are a lot more marketing options for businesses. But before even looking at them, every business needs to decide on what they are willing to invest in their business monthly. What are their customers worth to them? How much money can they afford to invest back into their business?
When setting a budget, a business needs to be realistic. I always advise clients to spend enough so that they can feel it, but not so much that it impacts key areas of the business, i.e. it will cut into your profits, but not make you lay someone off.
I know businesses that say that they have no room in their budget for marketing. When I walk through their budget with them, we always find areas that are not so crucial. They don’t bring in bagels every morning, but just on Fridays. They keep track of expenses more to make sure that the expense ends up bringing in business. There are always places that can be reallocated to marketing your business. If there is absolutely no money, do any of your employees have down time where they can take advantage of the free marketing options. You will be paying for their time for doing the marketing. There are always ways to pay for marketing. You just need to look for them.
Once you find the resources, you will know what marketing options you have. You will have a marketing budget. Now you need to put together your plan.
Rob Bedell has over 17 years of experience in marketing and advertising. He has built and restructured departments for major media companies. He started his own marketing company and works with owners of small to medium sized businesses. He works with business owners from various industries, from traditional brick and mortar businesses to network marketing business owners.