The following is a guest post by Stevie Clapton works at McKremie.com an Internet Marketing company located in Orange County, CA. McKremie specializes in search engine optimization and reputation management.
So, you are looking to open up your own small business, but are not well versed enough in Internet marketing to know the best financial practices? Internet marketing can be both a gift and a curse for small businesses. On one hand, for the inexperienced, marketing online can be a huge money-sink where small business budgets go to disappear, while chasing big aspirations. On the other hand, internet marketing can also provide small businesses with a cheap, yet effective way to advertise them and gain initial traction, so long as they know what they are doing. A few financial tips that you should take into consideration when beginning your internet marketing campaign include;
Advertise Where It's Affordable for Your Business
The biggest mistake that many startups and small businesses make with internet marketing is choosing advertising that is well beyond their budget. Immediately jumping into paying for Google Adwords advertisements and other paid advertising sources can be beneficial, but may be above the budgets of some small businesses. If your budget is too small for paid advertising sources, look into free options such as classified advertisements and social media marketing to spread the word about your business.
Have A Marketing Budget Set Aside
Your marketing budget should not be included in the general expenses of your business. Try to set marketing funds aside from other business related funds so that you can properly plan the amount that you can afford to spend, without going over budget. Within the marketing budget, you can set aside funds for specific types of marketing or promotion, such as classified advertisements, Adwords campaigns, and Facebook advertisements. This allows you to set daily limits on each of your advertising accounts, and better analyze each of the marketing methods that you are utilizing, cutting out underperforming methods and ramping up those that are giving the largest return on investment.
Use Free Methods Where Available
Almost every small business is going to be working with a very limited budget in the beginning. While you should be looking to cut unnecessary costs wherever available, internet marketing provides you with a unique opportunity to make large scale cuts without a dramatic reduction in the effectiveness of your marketing campaign. Instead of paying for advertising, dedicating more time to promoting your business using the free sources that are available to you will allow you to dramatically cut advertising costs without having to sacrifice the positive impact that the advertising has had on your business. As your business grows and more funds can be dedicated to advertising, you can begin to add new advertising sources to your list. This allows you to grow your marketing spending only when your business can afford it, without taking on too much responsibility at once.
Immediate Impact vs. Brand Recognition
When deciding on the marketing avenues that your business will pursue, you also have to decide what the goals of your marketing budget are. Of course, every business has a goal to increase revenue and become more profitable. However, you also have to divide up your marketing dollars between short term and long term impact. Short term impact refers to sales, and immediate growth while long term impact refers to brand recognition and building a long term marketing strategy for your company.
Outsource Where Available
Many basic and repetitive internet marketing tasks can be done by just about anyone. These include submissions to directories, syndicating content across a variety of websites, and generally trying to get your link in front of as many people as possible. These tasks can be outsourced to individuals around the world that will demand much less money than your in-house employees would, and your employees would likely appreciate not having to do such repetitive tasks.
The Internet is a land of unlimited opportunity for a small business, but that does not mean that you do not have to be diligent, both in plan as well as execution. Know what you want your marketing to accomplish, and find the cheapest way to make it happen.