Do I need a marketing budget?

Bowling "How much should we be spending on marketing?"  This is probably one of the most common questions we get asked. Or, on the flip side of that, we hear, "oh, we don’t have a budget.  We’re just a small business.  We just go with our gut."

No, no, no, no, no. 

Let’s get to the most important message first.  Every company, even a one person consultancy, should have a defined marketing budget.  You absolutely, positively will mis-spend, over spend and wrongly spend if you do not have a budget.  I promise you that.

Think of a budget as those bumpers you can use in a bowling alley. (even if you don’t have kids!)  They keep you from getting too deep in the gutter.  You can still get a little off center, but you can’t completely skip the lane.  With the bumpers in place, you’re bound to hit at least a few pins.

You need a written marketing budget that is tied to your sales goals.  Now that we know you need one, in the next post we’ll talk about how to create one.

For those of you who have ventured into the waters without a budget, any war stories we can learn from?