It’s very easy to spend fortunes on marketing. Here’s some tips to keep your marketing budget down and make the most of your cash.
1. Have a budget
Small businesses often spend money on marketing as and when – usually when cashflow is good. When you first start out, that might work for you, but as you grow it can be a lot less effective because it’s inconsistent and you end up spending money just because it’s there. Set yourself a monthly or quarterly budget and plan how to use it wisely and you’ll save yourself fortunes!
2. Stick to your budget
According to experts, what we track, we improve. The very act of setting a budget and monitoring where that money is going, should immediately improve the effectiveness of the marketing mediums you use. Simply by asking yourself the basic questions – a) does this fit into my budget and b) will it get me the customers I want – can mean you avoid some costly mistakes.
3. Know what to set your budget
Apparently we’re supposed to spend 15% of our target turnover on marketing. So if you’re looking for big growth, then you’ll need to spend big bucks! Or spend time instead. To grow your business you either need to spend time or money. The strange thing is, that the campaigns that involve spending time rather than money, tend to reap bigger rewards than just throwing cash. So if you are ‘time rich’ then this could be a much better option for you.
4. Be wary of deals
This is a big one. Just like buying clothes we’re never going to wear in the January sales – we often buy advertising or marketing services because it’s just too good to miss. If you were going to buy it any way – great! If it was something that you had decided wouldn’t work for you before, be wary of changing your mind just because the price looks attractive!
5. Don’t ignore the free stuff
You don’t need a big marketing budget to grow your business. There are plenty of free (or very low cost) marketing avenues you can use – generally they are for long term benefit, but they can also improve the effectiveness of your other marketing strategies. Posters on your car, free networking events, email campaigns, competitions, social media… they can all get forgotten. Use them well and monitor the results.