Big Plans, Limited Budget

If you’ve read my other blog posts, you know I am a strong advocate of first developing a marketing plan before you invest money into advertising or other marketing tools.

A marketing plan should have specific goals you want to achieve for your business. But to achieve them, your plan may possibly recommend TV advertising, building an e-commerce website, or going to national trade shows — all costly endeavors.

Your marketing plan may initially be a “blue sky” approach — meaning there are no limiting factors to your ideas or goals. This is an excellent way to start your planning, as you don’t want to limit your initial creative brainstorming. But eventually every “blue sky” meets a cloud. And the cloudiest forecast for ambitious marketing is money — do you have enough marketing dollars to ensure a good shot in achieving your business objectives? If your budget is limited, and you can’t afford to implement your marketing plan in full, then you may need to readjust how ambitious your business goals can be.

Starting an aggressive marketing effort and not having enough money to finish is poor planning. As a pilot, I’ll use this analogy: it’s like flying across the Atlantic with a half tank of fuel. Sure, you’ll make progress, but your plane better have floats because you’ll be landing in the Atlantic, and not in Paris.

Occasionally, I’ll get a call from someone who wants to do some advertising in Westchester to promote their business. I’ll ask them what kind of budget they have, and they often ask, ‘what can I do $10,000?’

Unfortunately, not much. Westchester County, New York is not only an expensive place to live, but also to advertise. You can easily spend 10 times that amount on advertising and it may still not be enough, depending on what you’re advertising, and to what audience.

Okay, so as not to be a total pessimist, what can you do for $10,000? Well that amount could nicely fund a public relations program, which would help build awareness by getting your name out in the marketplace. Don’t ask PR to generate direct sales like advertising, but it could however, generate indirect sales and get your business off to a good start.

With PR and a $10,000 budget, you may not fly across the Atlantic, but you could go to beautiful Bermuda, and that’s not half bad, now is it?

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Marketing with a Local Touch

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