So, you have started a business and are on a tight budget. Most startups are. The thing is, if you want to grow your business, you will have to find money in the budget for marketing. Before you implement or execute that next great marketing campaign, you will need a plan, and more important than that, you will need to know that you have the money in the budget to see it through.
Getting Started with Nothing
Let’s start by Imagining that you currently have $0 for marketing in your budget. If this sounds familiar, there is one thing that you can do to get a little bit of money to get you started. Consider taking out a small loan from MaxLend. They provide installment loans in amounts that can be as much as $1,250. Some of the benefits to this type of loan from MaxLend include that they have minimal requirements for eligibility, funding is fast, and repayment options are flexible. All you need to qualify for a loan are a valid social security number, a checking account that is active, and a source of income that can be verified.
Another thing that you can do with little to no budget is to consider doing a bit of social media marketing. You can set up a page on Facebook for free and start creating your brand and becoming a part of the conversation with just a bit of work. It doesn’t take anything to set up a Twitter account or an Instagram account either. All of these things can grow your brand by getting it out there.
Calculating a Budget for Marketing
Often, businesses will set aside a percentage of either their gross or their actual projected income for marketing. This is typically about 2 or 3% for run rate and as much as 3-5% for startups. However, this allocation will depend on a few different things. It can depend on your industry, how large or small your business is, and its stage of growth. Consider this, during the early years when a business is building its brand, you can expect to spend more on marketing than businesses that are already established.
What Not to Do
Before you get started trying to determine your budget for marketing, let’s take a quick peek at some things that you shouldn’t do.
- Don’t just take the figures from last year and add on a variable percentage for luck.
- Some people make a classic mistake by knowing the amount of sales they need but not the amount of leads they will need. Try not to do this.
- Don’t try to set your budget for marketing without having a plan for marketing in hand.
- Don’t attempt to get that marketing plan done without first completing a marketing audit.
- Don’t make an investment in newer marketing activities without the marketing knowledge or skills in those arenas.
With a Shoestring Budget
You can still market your business even if you have a miniscule budget. You just need to get creative about it. Consider the following:
- Elevator pitches – As a small business, you need to be spending all of your time marketing. This is regardless of where you might be. For that reason, you need to have what is known as an elevator pitch. Research has shown that the average adult’s attention span is about 8 seconds. That means that you have exactly that long to capture their attention. If you manage to do this successfully, you will have slightly more than a minute to completely sell them on your service and or product. For this reason, take the time to come up with a fabulous elevator pitch.
- Create a conversation. Nowadays, small business owners can get a lot done without having to hire professional advertising firms. Consider getting a subscription to Help a Reporter Out. Reporters post that they’re looking for ideas and resources for stories. Answer their questions. Some of these are small opportunities for media, but there are also major media outlets that make use of this service.
Hopefully, by now, you have learned how to get money for your marketing budget, how to create that budget, what not to do, and a couple of ways to market with a tiny budget. See how far you can get with the information you found here and let us know if you have any alternative suggestions.