“I want to learn how I can market my business on a small budget!” one person in the audience said. “Yes, how can you do marketing when you have little money to do so?” said another.
So, how much money does it take to market your business?
Are you ready for this answer? It will take as much money as you can afford – as long as your objective is to grow your business. It’s not such a profound answer, but consider the businesses you know who claim to be living only from referrals. Can this be true? Of course it can be true, but consider again how they have been growing – or not.
Occasionally, a business will pop up when all they have to do is open a door, put out a sign, and presto – double digit growth for 25 years! A more likely scenario is the one you are in today. You have a good business; there is competition; the economy is up and down; suppliers change; products change; your industry is changing. The answer again is: you need to spend money on marketing to compete, and especially to grow.
Marketing expenses are best determined by creating successful, measured, tactics then adding up how much they cost to determine your total expense. This can be done with a bit of history and time. Without these last two elements, you can start your budgeting by trying this simple plan of attack:
1) Determine how much you want to grow, in dollars, over the next 12 months.
2) Calculate how many customers are needed to achieve the growth in #1.
3) Assuming you have defined your marketing house foundations (contact Mentor Marketing for more info.) and know where and how to reach your prospects, determine which marketing tactics you want to pursue to achieve your goal. Your marketing tactics should be spread out in each of five categories: Social Media/Word Of Mouth, General Advertising, Direct Advertising, Media/Industry/Publications, and Personal/Group Selling activities. These are the five points of the Marketing Star.
4) For each tactic given in #3, estimate how many customers may reasonably be acquired.
5) Now estimate how much each of these tactics might cost. This sum will be your Marketing Investment.
So,your Marketing Investment is just that – an investment in growth. These are expenditures that will generate business, not just create brand awareness. A marketing budget, on the other hand, is usually a pre-determined amount spent on activities hoping to get business. Your Marketing Investment is a sum of money spent on activities that you have tested, turned into a process, and will knowingly gain results. This is just what Mentor Marketing helps businesses do. So go ahead, spend your investment and grow!
Good Marketing To You!