Small businesses can be hesitant when it comes to spending money on marketing and advertising. Maybe they are nervous about identifying a set amount of money to spend because they aren’t sure what they should be spending it on. Instead of hiring a professional to put a plan in place for them, they feel more comfortable spending a little money here, a little money there. They hire one vendor to create a website, one vendor to do a brochure, a different person manage their social media and before you know it, everything is a total mess.
I get it, small business owners worry about cash flow. But defining yearly marketing goals and setting a budget to reach those goals, can actually end up saving you money. Here’s why:
First, when you spread your marketing across multiple companies the small business owner ends up playing project manager. You are assigning work, following up, balancing the budget and making sure all of the work is on brand and consistent. If you are doing all this then you aren’t doing your job and well, time is money.
By hiring an agency or even just one capable person (who could be on staff or freelance) – your marketing begins to have purpose and direction. There is one person who can see the big picture, who knows what you are trying to achieve, who can make key decisions on your behalf. This is important because not only does that one person have marketing expertise that you don’t have, but you should be spending your time selling your product or services, not deciding what to post on social media or which hashtag to use.
Next let’s talk about your brand. Chances are you spent a long time thinking about your company name, logo and mission. All of these things make up your brand. If you have one person who created your logo, another person who designs your brochures and someone else that lays out your advertising, chances are your logo, fonts and colors may be inconsistent from one piece to the next. When all of these things are done by one company and files are kept in one central location, you eliminate branding errors that can arise passing projects from one company to the next. Having to do pieces over because of errors like this are a waste of time and money.
Finally let’s discuss advertising. Everyone can afford to advertise for their small business. Whether you have $5000 or $50,000 to spend each year, you should be advertising and you should have someone help guide you on what to spend and where – based on your budget and your goals. I hear too many small business owners say that they can’t afford to advertise or they can’t afford to hire someone to help them develop an advertising plan. But at the end of the year, they’ve run 5 journal ads, 1 random print ad and sponsored two local events. That equals a budget – a budget that deserves thought and guidance to make sure your company is reaping the most benefits.
The truth is you have to put money into marketing your company if you want to be successful. Hire someone to help you make sure you are spending your marketing dollars correctly. Remember, when you skimp out on the important things, you actually end up spending more money in the long run.