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When should a small business spend money on marketing?

I had a wonderful visit this morning with some leaders at a local non-profit.  They are wanting to figure out their next move as they try to grow their organization.

I’m writing about this experience because I think small businesses are much like a non-profit.  Both types of organization are mission driven, limited on resources, and limited on staffing.

small business marketingAnd, I’m guessing that many small business owners have had the same dilemma.  How, when and how much to invest in marketing and public relations efforts.

Here are some tips to consider when considering your marketing budget:

  • Invest before your business is “slow”.  It takes one to two quarters to see results from marketing efforts.
  • Be sure to target your efforts.  It is a waste of money to simply market to the general public.  Know your client, customer or donor.  Find out how they get their information.  (newspaper, radio, email, text, social media, etc)
  • What can you get free?  Investing some time in social media, PR efforts, or holding a contest  can be free or very low-cost.
  • Can you partner with a similar business to get your small business marketing message out?
  • If staffing is an issue, can an intern assist?  I’ve had wonderful success utilizing college interns to help with marketing efforts.  Just make sure you spend some time to manage the process so the intern has a meaningful experience and the marketing program is top-notch.

If you want any additional marketing ideas for your Louisville small business, give me a call at 502-435-8825.