Where to Start When Marketing Your Business

The panic. The concern. The stress. All small business owners have it. You have an idea and a plan to sell a product, offer a service, manage a business but that may have been the easy part. But how are you supposed to get people to come through your doors and buy your services?

To operate a small business, you need to become an expert in something. Photography perhaps or baking as examples. You want to be a resource for your customers so they come back and continue to give you their business. However, most people who are experts in their business are not experts in marketing the business. And that is ok. The best decision a business owner can make is to hire a person or an agency to handle the marketing decisions so they can focus on what they do best – running their business. But the marketing person or agency need the tools to operate. And that starts with a marketing budget.

There are many business owners who look at the cost of each marketing spend as a expense and not as an investment. They have not created a line item in their budget for marketing. Each ad, the development of an efficient website, the design of a logo brings an added level of stress to the business owner who is taking dollars out of the business revenues, or their own pocket, to pay for them. This is a common mistake.

A successful marketing plan needs to have the appropriate budget. Some items may not be able to be accomplished in year one, but will need to be accounted for when developing a budget for year two. If you have assigned dollars for marketing, these necessary expenses will bring better decisions, and results, for the company and less stress for the decision makers.

How much should a business budget for marketing? Well that depends on the size and goals of each company. You should envision the need for a logo, a professional website, some combination of print ads, digital ads or commercials (depending on the market and target audience) and in-store marketing materials (such as brochures/menus and business cards) within year one. You can see how these expenses could be concerning to those companies with out a budget.

The right investment in marketing your business will provide you with strong dividends for years to come.

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