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How to create a marketing budget for your startup or small business

Updated: Dec 25, 2021

Source: Baremetrics

Photo Source: Unsplash, Carlos Muza

Starting a Business

One of the biggest challenges that startup companies face is the marketing process: how to market, where to market, and what to spend are puzzles that plague every fledgling business hoping to break into its industry.

However, a haphazard marketing strategy can be just as bad as no strategy at all, leaving you not only with a failed venture, but business-related loans and debt that you may not be able to repay.

Check out these marketing tips so you can avoid the common pitfalls and ensure that your company’s launch really takes off.

Calculate Your Marketing Budget While there is no set rule to establishing your marketing budget, founder and CEO of Elevate My Brand, Laurel Mintz, recommends that startups set their initial budget to 12 to 20 percent of gross or projected revenue.

This is to jumpstart your marketing campaign, which can then be scaled back to 6 to 12 percent once your sales are rolling.

If, like most startups, you don’t have any revenue yet, plan on keeping your marketing expenditures to less than $1,000 per month and tie that spending to concrete, measurable deliverables. Explore Options It can get a little tricky to differentiate cause and effect when running multiple strategies at once, but you can also use other metrics to analyze your success based on the specific goals you’re after, such as website traffic, click-through rates, A/B testing, trending hashtags, and other measurable data.

Don’t be afraid to experiment and try out different approaches, so long as you don’t wander off your plan too much and blow your budget.

Depending on your brand, venture and experience in the field, it may take several attempts to figure out what combination of activities will get the most eyes on your company.

Regularly Update Your Marketing Plan As you learn, experiment and grow, continually revisit your marketing plan and adjust it to each new resource or piece of knowledge gained.

Remember that making adjustments doesn’t mean that there’s no point in having a plan. You’ll need some type of road map to know which direction to head in and to keep your spending in line with your budget.

However, flexibility and adaptability are key attributes for startups to employ, no matter what field you’re in.

Scale your budget and your strategy according to your growth, and always ask yourself how you can be more creative and innovative in your approach.

Hire a Pro It may sound obvious, but if and when you can afford it, it definitely pays to hire a professional.

Take the guesswork out of your marketing strategy and leave things to the pros. Marketing your brand or venture doesn’t need to be a confusing or overwhelming prospect. If you’re realistic about each stage of growth that your company is in and apply your marketing tools wisely, you’ll be able to build your startup into a successful and robust enterprise.

Maricel Tabalba is a freelance contributor for who is interested in writing about personal finance advice for Millennials and college students. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in Communication from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Do you have a hap hazard marketing plan? Do you have a marketing plan? Tell us about what you do for marketing?

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