By Monica Rosenfeld
In my business I meet with many fantastic entrepreneurs who are living a dream, solving a problem and improving the lifestyles of their clients and customers. I love meeting these fantastic, inspired individuals but it can also be frustrating. Why? Because so often these passionate entrepreneurs have invested heavily in their product or service without having acquired a single customer as yet. This is all well and good unless they have completely neglected to budget for marketing, which is often the case.
An example of this is a home delivery food service who had invested in a fantastic industrial kitchen and a machine that can fill up 50 cups at one time, but a marketing budget was a complete afterthought and basically non-existent. Or a beauty brand who had spent huge dollars on creating the perfect packaging but hadn’t given any thought as to what her distribution channels would look like or how people would find out about her unique product.
A budget for marketing is essential in any business, especially new ventures as you can’t sell a product/service that nobody knows exist.
Here are 5 tips to think about when considering marketing in your new venture:
- Divide the budget equally between the major elements of the business. For instance if it’s a tech business the budget should be divided equally between tech, operations and marketing.
- Don’t put all your eggs in one marketing activity. Try different methods of marketing, test the results and continue to do the activity that works for your brand.
- Understand the functions of the different marketing tools. An adwords campaign is about direct lead generation, a social media campaign is about lead generation and word of mouth referrals through an engaged community and PR is about increasing your brand’s credibility and trust.
- Identify the marketing activities you can do yourself and those that you are better off paying professionals for. This way your marketing budget spreads further as you are able to contribute the activity you feel comfortable you can do well.
- As a general rule 10%-20% of your turnover should be dedicated to a marketing strategy that will help you grow your business.