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Updated: Jul 29, 2019

Ok, so we know any form of strategic planning can be a time-consuming exercise, but it forces you to think through your strategies and relevant tactics on how you will operate. Building a successful company almost always involves successfully marketing your product, your service, or yourself.

Many small businesses, take for granted the benefits of taking the time out to put together a marketing plan and to ensure they have a budget to execute these plans. However, without a marketing budget, it will limit your chances of success. You may be heading in the right direction without it (at least for now) but it will be difficult to stay on course as you operate blindly in a dynamic market – and that can never be good. A marketing plan and budget is also a great opportunity to focus on the future, generate new ideas, and inspire your team. Even a simple plan is better than none.

The image posted will give you an idea of the areas to focus on when putting a complete marketing budget together. Your PR or marketing professional must decide how much money will be allocated to each area. (Remember to include the cost for hiring a marketing and PR personnel to execute the plans.

The ultimate goal is to gain a customer base and increase revenue. As such, the diagram shows the road map to helping you achieve this goal. In other words, the overall factors must be included in the lot:

1. Branding expenses – Leveraging your brand strategy. Will you need new business cards, logo shirts, branded giveaway items etc.

2. Software expenses – you may need to utilize some form of software to work at the optimum level. Example, graphic design or video tools (or hire someone to do it…it still is a cost), analytic tools help you to monitor the effectiveness of your digital marketing.

3. Events - It is highly recommend to me it a priority to go to events held by different companies, because they are a great way to meet new people, learn new marketing trends and generate further client/customer interaction. Events may also include your company being the host or participating in a event such as a conference. Consider researching events that appeal to you and one that will help you to reach your target audience.

4. Public relations Expenses – Your PR expenses must not be confused with advertising expenses. Public relations involves creating strategic plans to enhance how others will promote you to the public, while in advertising, you determine how you are going to promote your brand to the public.

Budgeting also allows you to be more aware of your spending power when those unexpected last minute expenses come up, because you will already know what you can and can't afford.

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