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  How Much is Enough for My Web Marketing Budget?  
How Much is Enough for My Web Marketing Budget?
Joelene Wickens-Orlando

The beginning of your start up is the time to plan your marketing budget and provide an adequate budget guideline for you to follow. Easier said than done, huh? You’re not alone. Budgeting is very hard for many people because they are unsure of how to predict the future. The good news is that if you know your market and can give an educated guess of your future expenses and possible growth in profits on a simple plan format (yes, written on paper), should work. The reason that I emphasize that is your marketing plan, just like your business plan should be written in the form of a document, so that it will tell you along the way that you are on track with your budget. Granted you might go over one month or under another, but having a marketing plan will help you gauge where you are and where your money is going.

There is no specified number or dollar amount of what your budget should be, regardless of the size or amount is not the factor in how your business will succeed, but how you spend it at a particular time and how much. You need to allocate your funding on a monthly basis and see what you can afford and what form of marketing action you will do with that budget for that month. The last thing you want to do is take the budget of 5 months of advertising in one month, and leave the other 4 months high and dry and not do any marketing. Doing it up for one month, and then laying low for the next 4 months isn’t exactly a good way to promote your business. You need to budget each month and find ways to do it realistically without breaking the bank. People tend to freak out when they hear the word, “budget”, and tend to avoid dealing with why you need a realistic budget guideline for marketing and advertising and to stay within the reality of your cash flow and availability of your funds. If the money isn’t there, how can you justify spending big bucks for advertising?

Just like having a business plan, you have a marketing plan, which is really a measure of commitment on your part that you will adhere to the plan to make your business succeed. What happens with many start-ups, is that people tend to go a bit crazy and to go big on some items and purchases when starting out in their businesses. And what happened next? The overhead became too large for them to consume, even with the meager profits coming in, there are now no funds for marketing the business. It is far more important to put aside more money and time for marketing than for purchases for your start up. Think of it this way, there is nothing more depressing than sitting in a “diced-up, state-of-the-art” office with an overhead that is staggering before you’ve really even started. When starting out, figure out what the basic necessities are that you need that can get you started with the least amount of overhead…(yeah, we all love those nice leather swivel chairs). As a good rule of thumb, start on a smaller scale, and then allow your business to grow, and then you can feel good about upgrading your purchases or items for your business. And at the same time, you may want to even add any extra profits (even in small amounts) that come up into the marketing budget for when you want to do an exceptional promotional event where you can actually afford it because you planned for it.

Just remember the quality of the advertising or marketing is not affected by the budget, but the quantity that you purchase at a particular time is.

Joelene Orlando is a Web enthusiast and a staff writer/consultant for eMarketing Answers with a broad knowledge of topics covering Internet marketing and communication strategies for both consumer and small business owners.

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