How to stretch your marketing budget

As a business owner you have to do everything yourself; the banking, sales, marketing and budgeting, and it can become overwhelming.  There are never enough hours in the day, and in the first few years, generally never enough money in the bank; but you persevere, you have too!  The buck stops with you and I’m sure you ask yourself many times a day, why you started this business in the first place?

It’s Ok, I know, I’ve been there. The reason I went into business was to have more control over my finances and create a lifestyle I wanted!  Well, that was the plan!  But how many times have you as a business owner, as I did, found yourself out of control, reacting, rather than being proactive?  Become subjective rather than objective?  You know it when it happens, but circumstances seem to be against you, and you’re always too busy.

We all find ourselves, working in the business rather than on the business.  So how do we change this cycle?  How do we look outside, increase our business profile, and grow?

Every business is different, based on individual needs and long-term goals, but the first step for everyone, is to take a long, deep breath; get out of your head, sit down and write a to do list; prioritise at least two years of goals with three monthly timeframes; make them SMART, Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely, don’t try and do everything in the first twelve months.

Then, open your mind to new ideas, step outside of your comfort zone to get a fresh perspective, and there are many ways to do this; some cost money and others don’t.  One that only costs you time is collaborating with like-minded business owners.

Whatever business you are in, you work with suppliers, network with other business owners, maybe spend what leisure time you have at a sporting club or in a yoga class.  How many people do you meet daily, that have common interests? Have businesses of their own? Work for a known brand?

Everyone has different life experiences, skillsets, contacts and imagination.  Just one new idea could be the one that skyrockets your profile on Social Media.  So, organise a coffee catchup and brainstorm ideas for a joint promotion with those acquaintances that have a product or service that fits with your own.  Their participation will inspire and enable you both to think bigger picture with your marketing ideas.

Collaboration from a marketing perspective can save you money; it could halve your marketing budget as you share in the costs.  Working with another business towards achieving the same promotional goal, will motivate you and enable you and them to get maximum impact for the promotion and more bang for your marketing dollars.  It’s a Win, Win for everyone!

 

Deborah Sams

Business Advisor

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