So, you have a great business idea and you have the sheer drive and determination to see your idea become a reality and now you are ready to take it to market. That is going to mean that you “get it out there” in one way or another from website promotion and hard advertising copy to digital advertising and social media awareness, and they all cost money.
If you are just stepping out into what is commonly known as “the start-up” phase, you are not likely to get too far unless you have a marketing budget.
You’ll experience plenty of unexpected costs along the way, so finding the right tools – check out some of the startup marketing tools that Leadfeeder recommend – and service providers is absolutely essential to maximize your return on investment.
In the following article, we offer some useful hints and tips for start-ups that may be scratching their heads and wondering exactly how they set about creating a marketing budget.
Tailoring your budget to fit your resources
One of the first and possibly the harshest realities that owners of start-up businesses have to face is that the supply of available cash needed to finance their plans is often a lot less than they may have been hoping for. There are so many ways to fund your start-up from banks and financial institutions to crowdfunding or from friends and family input. This means that you may have to make some serious adjustments to your marketing budget, at least until you are able to display some level of success in getting those products and/or services sold.
Making accurate predictions about your target market
Before you are even able to consider where you will be getting the best ROI for your marketing budget you will need to have an understanding of your target market. The most efficient and cost-effective way to gain this valuable information (market research) is through accessing consumer behaviour statistics or data relating to your perceived customers and that can be done for free online.
Scalability has become something of a buzz word of late and despite all of the hype it really is a serious business consideration, especially where the marketing of start-ups is concerned. It is crucial to the long-term survival of your business that operational and marketing budgets don’t outstrip the cash coming in from sales. By ensuring that carefully scaling for growth is a huge priority in your budget creation, you will be building in the flexibility that your operation is most certainly going to need.
Discovering what works best for your business
There is no “one size fits all” marketing medium and what works well for one type of product or service in one place or to a specific market sector may not do the same across the board.
Even before you create your marketing budget you may gain some valuable insights through running small batches of AB testing to ascertain where you are likely to get the most out of your marketing budget.
Better too much than not enough
Providing for a surplus in your budget (overestimating) will not only ensure that you have the “cushion” needed to cover any unexpected or unforeseen marketing expenditure but if you don’t use it, it could provide a welcome bonus. Although cash flow forecasts are another subject for another article, they do work hand-in-hand with budgets and it is well worth remembering that negative cash flow is one of the main causes of start-up failure. Bearing that in mind, it is always prudent to over budget when considering the real costs of your startup’s marketing budget.
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