How Important Is Marketing For a Small Business?
Just how important is marketing for a small business?
In fact, the easiest way to grow any business is through consistent marketing. But many small business owners think 1) they don't have the time or the budget for marketing, and 2) they don’t have time or know-how to create a marketing plan.
We get it. When you own a business, you're so often wrapped up in the daily grind of operations, putting out fires and getting through the day. But the reality is, as a business owner, you are already spending time and money on marketing, but you might not see it that way!
Don’t think you have a marketing budget?
This quick exercise may change your marketing mindset.
Check your past year’s expenses for hidden marketing-related charges like monthly website hosting and/or maintenance and support; Facebook or Google ads; yelp programs; print ads; local sponsorships like team sports, donations or journal ads; collateral like shopping bags and promotional items like pens, consumer promotions, etc. Did you pay a designer to create branded imprints, a logo, or other marketing materials? Did you print business cards or brochures? Did you sponsor a hole for a local golf outing? Did you attend or exhibit at a trade show or attend a networking seminar with your local trade association? When you tally these costs, you will most likely see that you have a “hidden" marketing budget – and we suggest you call it what it is, your marketing budget, and embrace it!
Many business owners view marketing as an added expense to their bottom line, but the fact is, marketing dollars should not be viewed as an expense (taking away from your business profits) but as an investment – both short term and long term – which ultimately increase your profits. The Small Business Administration suggests small businesses should spend anywhere between 7%-12% of gross revenues sales towards marketing.
As a small business owner, you can get started with an informal marketing plan, but we suggest taking the time to put it in writing to determine marketing goals. You can modify your marketing plan, and you should, but having the plan in place is key. The most important factor will not be the actual dollar amount you start with but asking yourself if each dollar spent is consistent with your marketing goals. There are many resources online to help you draft a simple “starter” marketing plan to get you on the right track.
Another approach may be to hire an in-house marketing manager for your business or work with a company that specializes in small business marketing and development. The advantage of working with a company is that you can focus more of your energy on your business goals while the company interprets your goals and implements your approved marketing plan efficiently and strategically.
Whether you have 5,000, 10,000, or 100,000 dollars plus to invest in marketing, take the care to spend it in a way that will be consistent, strategic, and focused on brand development with the goal of increasing your sales and brand loyalty with your customers! Ultimately, at any budget, having a plan and a positive/proactive marketing mindset helps your business grow!
Specializing in Business Development
Related Article: 4 Easy Tips to Up Your Product Page Game!