At least once a quarter, have a detailed sitdown with fellow coworkers and set direction for your small business marketing budget. Failure to do so will result in tons of sporadic spending that gives you little to no long term return. If you want to grow your business, you must prioritize financial concerns. Don’t take out a business line of credit and spend without abandon. If you’re calculated in your small business spending decisions, you will notice a huge difference.
With that said, follow these six rules when setting your quarterly small business budget.
1. Don’t make all decisions based on future anticipation.
Is forecasting welcomed in the small business space? Absolutely. On the other hand, don’t let future anticipations determine current decisions. Rely on past and present data when developing your budget. This ensures that all decisions are supported by basic logic and data.
How does this help you? It increases your likelihood of future success.
2. Prioritize marketing methods that provide proven results.
When developing your quarterly small business marketing budget, allocate the majority of your spend for proven tactics. Let’s say last quarter you experienced extreme success with Facebook Ads. Funnel a bit more money into that initiative this next time around, and monitor results.
3. Take the ideas of all employees into consideration.
There’s nothing cool about being a one man or one woman show. After all, there’s no I in team right? Rely on your network of supportive and talented employees when making budget calls. Maybe they don’t know as much about the business as you do, but they also might see an opportunity you don’t. This is especially true for business owners who tend to be far removed from the day to day operational activities.
4. Set aside a portion of your budget for wildcard testing.
As stated above, you should funnel most of your spend into proven methods. With that said, allow 10% of your marketing budget to go towards testing new tactics. For example, let’s say one of your main competitors experienced major success with targeted direct mail campaigns. Don’t throw a bunch of money into direct mail just because, but at the same time, don’t be afraid to give it a try. You might experience the same results, or you might not. Either way, you can draw an accurate conclusion on the effectiveness of this method.
5. Stop believing there’s only one route to success.
We all want success, but we’re all also wired a bit differently. While some might think social media marketing is the answer, others put their trust in a dense content marketing plan. There’s no wrong way when it comes to allocating your small business marketing budget. Choose the methods that work the best for you, and don’t compare every single decision to that of your competitors.
6. Embrace your mistakes, and pull a lesson out of each failure.
Maybe last month you poured hundreds of dollars into a print campaign that negatively affected your bottom line. Instead of making money, you lost out on tons of opportunity. Guess what? That’s completely ok. Lesson learned, don’t invest tons of marketing dollars, if any at all, into print solutions. Now, if you make the same mistake twice, then you have a problem. Apart from this, you will make poor budgeting decisions now and again. Learn from them.
When setting your small business marketing budget, keep these six rules in mind. It’s not always a matter of right or wrong, but instead figuring out what works best for you. It’s your money, so spend it wisely on initiatives that give you a great return.
Kristen Vanstrom is the Director of Content Management for Slicktext.com. Slick Text is a top text message marketing provider. They offer immediate and affordable mobile communication solutions for the small business owner.