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Making Every Cent Count: Marketing Budgets for Small Businesses

When it comes to marketing, the usual spending philosophy is that the sky is the limit. Large corporations often have big marketing budgets and the results obvious to see. However, not all businesses are blessed with a lot of capital. For small businesses, it can be a struggle to find the money needed to keep operating.   Marketing is one of the first to suffer when it comes to deciding what to cut. However, that doesn’t have to be the case. Here are some tips on making a tight marketing budget work.

Start With Some Research

The first step any small business does when it comes to marketing is to do research. This helps stop reinventing the wheel. When someone has already done it before, a business simply has to use what works. One thing to research is the average marketing budget of others in the same industry.

Depending on what type of customer it is targeting, there might be a variety. For example, businesses that sell to other businesses often spend a maximum of five percent of their gross revenue on marketing. Those that sell directly to customers have it a bit higher at ten percent. This gives a good point of comparison and a good limit on what the budget should look like.

Evaluate The Current Sales Funnel

Besides external research, a small business should also do some investigating internally. A closer look at the sales funnel should reveal exactly how a business gets customers and what path they take to become a sale. Identifying the important parts and what works can allow a small business to make decisions on what needs to be done to improve it. For example, learning how many leads are generated per month can reveal how well advertising efforts are going.

Consider It As An Investment

A big mistake that many small businesses make is to think of marketing as an expense. Business owners then lower it as a priority when it comes to spending. However, a business should consider marketing as an investment. With the right approach, the money spent on marketing can have an increased return. The amount that a business spends on marketing should not be evaluated as a loss since it draws in customers that generate revenue. With this perspective, reducing a marketing budget can be avoided.

Look For Options

Besides laying the foundations for making the budget work, a business should also look for potential low-budget marketing strategies. There are many ways to raise the profile of a business that doesn’t cost much. For example, a small business can usually participate in the local community’s events. Sponsoring the high school basketball team can help create a good feeling about the business and it doesn’t cost that much.

Local events like trade fairs and business mixers can also potentially raise a company’s profile, as long as a representative is sent. There are many marketing strategies out there that can fit any budget.

Online Is The Way To Go

presentation about online marketing on a laptop

But the most cost-effective marketing method is going online. The internet provides businesses with an ideal platform to advertise without needing a large budget. For example, a website can reach thousands of people and can generate a lot of revenue compared to its cost. Besides a website, the rise of social media has also created perfect platforms for advertising, if used correctly.

Business owners should also prioritize online marketing because of the continued increase in online usage. Nowadays, business owners should be aware of online trends so that they can maximize their marketing potential.

Getting A Good Deal

Ensuring an affordable marketing budget can also be a reflection of the deals that the business makes with various marketing professionals. Instead of going the expensive route and creating a full marketing team from scratch, small businesses can work with consultants and freelancers to make their marketing plan a reality.

This will still cost money but it depends on how negotiations go. For example, a business planning to hire an SEO company should consider asking for a quote for their services and what they can deliver. This sets expectations and can be a good starting point for a negotiation on the price. Small businesses can aim to get more value out of the deal if they negotiate right.

All it takes is a bit of creativity and some discipline for a proper marketing budget to be made for a small business. There are a lot of options available out there so small business owners should not despair. Thanks to modern developments, even small operations can punch above their weight when it comes to marketing.

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