Have you started thinking about setting your marketing budget for 2024? We know every dollar counts, especially for small businesses. We also know that you want to get a good return on investment for what you put into your business. 

Your approach can help or hinder how successful your return on investment is, so think about this: Are you actually setting aside money for marketing, or are you spending a bit here and there based on what you think you need? Is what you spend linked back to specific goals you have for your business?

There may be a lot to think through, but here are four tips to simplify things and help you figure out your 2024 marketing budget:

1. Think about your revenue goals for next year.

First, think about your goal revenue for next year. If a year seems too daunting, then set a goal by quarter or half a year. Your revenue goal may be based on what you’ve made in the past annually or it could be based on a projection. Either way, make sure it is a somewhat achievable number. The amount of revenue you want to make can help inform a lot of your marketing decisions!

2. Set aside 3-5% for your marketing budget.

Next, we recommend setting aside 5% of that revenue goal as your marketing budget. If you don’t think you can swing it, then commit to at least 3%. Your business is worth the investment! Not only does this step help you quantify your budget, but is also aligns with a real number (your revenue) so that you aren’t just making up a number “that sounds good.”

3. Plan out your marketing goals.

Now that you know your revenue goal and the amount of money budgeted for marketing, the next step is to create goals for what you are selling and providing your customers. Remember – marketing is not effective when you don’t have any goals. Do you want to launch a new product? Get more email signups? Host more events? Increase brand awareness in your area?

Consider choosing one or two primary goals to avoid spreading yourself too thin. If you have a lot of goals you want to achieve, make a list of the top five most important ones. I know what it’s like to want to accomplish everything all at once, but trust me – simplifying your goals will help you achieve them more efficiently and with better results!

4. Break down your goals into action steps.

Finally, break down your goals into smaller steps and use the budget you’ve set aside to support these steps. For example, if you want more email signups, do those who sign up receive something of value in return for providing you with their contact info? What does your follow up look like after they’ve received the PDF, coupon code, ebook, etc.? You may need to invest in an email platform as well as support with getting and nurturing leads.

It may seem like four simple steps, but I know that goal setting can feeling daunting. It is not easy to get a high-level view when you are constantly working in the day-to-day operations of your business. If you’re not sure how you’re going to find the time to set goals and structure your marketing budget around those goals, let Sidewalk Marketing Co. help! Schedule a free strategy session today to see how you can make the most out of your current marketing dollars.