In the 1989 movie Back to the Future II, directed by Robert Zemeckis and written by Bob Gale, the main character time travels from the year 1985 to the year 2015, where he discovers the Chicago Cubs won the 2015 World Series. If you paid any attention to sports last fall, you know that the Cubs won the 2016 World Series. Not a bad prediction—the movie was only off by one year (maybe we’ll have the flying cars next year). As a business owner, you also have to make predictions about the market, but you can’t afford mistakes. Let’s see what it takes to make a good marketing budget.
So, you’re thinking about spending some money on marketing, maybe to upgrade your website, get an expert’s advice, or start on content marketing. But you won’t know how much you can spend on that if you don’t have a budget in place, and you have to organize your finances before you can think about a budget.
The first step applies to smaller, newer business: don’t combine your personal and your business finances. Always keep them separate to avoid headaches later (like at tax time). The bigger, established businesses have stuck around so long partly because they already learned this lesson.
Next, if numbers aren’t your thing, find a numbers person to take care of your accounts. Even if you consider yourself excellent at bookkeeping, hiring a bookkeeper can free you up to work on the things no one else can. You want your recruiters to recruit and your marketers to market, so get a bookkeeper to bookkeep.
A budget is adjustable. It guides you in making wise decisions, so you don’t spend rashly. Your budget is also realistic, or should be anyway. It’s great to have big goals, but if you budget for those goals and miss, it’s going to hurt.
Stay realistic by keeping track of your income and expenses, and make sure they get recorded right away. You’ll be able to see how much you spend on office expenses and employee salaries and how much you earn from clients. Keep an eye out for patterns and seasonal trends because some months will be better than others. See what your profit comes to every month—that amount, whether small or big, is available for marketing.
Once you’ve tracked your spending and earning trends and predicted that you can indeed afford marketing, it’s time to figure out exactly what kind of marketing you need. Brand identity will be big in 2017, but maybe you wonder if your business would benefit more from social media marketing. ASJ’s consultants understand where you’re coming from. We can help you figure out what you need and how to create an annual marketing plan. (We don’t usually deal with science fiction predictions, and we don’t discriminate because of your baseball team affiliation.) We’re experts on marketing for staffing and recruiting firms, so contact us today to get back to focusing on your future.