How to jump start your marketing goals with financing
Marketing is a critical element to small-business growth, but it often falls to the wayside because local merchants need to funnel extra capital into other areas to quickly jumpstart growth. For instance, setting up a mobile network and integrating a cutting-edge credit card processing system are important components of a successful business and need attention right away. Similarly, inventory management and back-end logistics need to be established to get the company up and running, which may be another reason why small-business marketing is sometimes put on the back burner.
A recent BrightLocal and ChamberofCommerce.com joint study found similar results, as 70 percent of small businesses spent less than $500 per month on marketing in 2014. Conversely, just 16 percent spent more than $1,000 on consumer outreach.
Certainly, the size of a local business was a major factor in determining how much the company allocated to advertising. For example, a business with just 1 to 3 employees spent an average of $319 on marketing each month. On the other hand, a company with 21 to 50 employees spent $2,000 per month on outreach campaigns. Whatever the case may be, small-business owners need to invest in themselves if they want to grow.
Infuse marketing with third-party financing
Small-business owners may already have loans to pay off, which could be deterrent for taking on more debt. Yet, if small-business owners realign their approach to marketing, it could pay dividends. Some merchants see marketing purely as a business expense, but that's not necessarily the case. Customer outreach is an investment companies make in themselves and in their future growth. Similar to private and personal investing, it takes time and a concerted effort for the initial venture to generate a return. Once business owners see ROI, they can reinvest back into the company and pay off a potential loan.
If securing an additional loan for marketing isn't an option, there are other ways small-business owners can finance a marketing budget as well. Inc magazine recommends a few different outlets for merchant owners:
- Use a credit card but make sure to not fall behind on payments
- Try a crowdfunding campaign with a site like Kickstarter.com
- Lean on family and friends for temporary loans without high interest
- Pledge future earnings for upfront funding
- Research and see if your company is eligible for any grants
- Apply for and secure a microloan
Every company will likely have its own goals and strategies to reach those objectives, but one underlying theme remains throughout: Small-business marketing is critical to company growth and adding to the bottom line.
Optimize at the point of sale
Business owners obviously want to see a return on their investment, no matter what it is. If they invest in a marketing campaign, there are ways to produce better results. Cutting-edge POS solutions come equipped with reporting software that provides business owners with intuitive customer insight. Merchants can lean on back-end analytics to get a better idea of who their customers are, what they like to buy and when they make the transaction. Using this information, a business can then segment clients into different groups and create targeted messaging to send these consumers. The more relevant small-business marketing is, the higher the likelihood that merchants acquire and retain customers.