Local Business Marketing: How much $$ am I supposed to spend?

By Carmen Reed-Gilkison | Blog Articles

Oct 11


Good question! The answer varies. Just like no two businesses are the same (even among franchises), no two marketing budgets will be the same.  To make a determination, you’ll need to ask yourself some questions:

  • How “hot” is your market?
  • How much competition do you have?
  • Is your business brand new, established, or somewhere in between?
  • Are you in a good location or bad?
  • How engaged is your customer base?

With the answers to those questions, you can start to develop a marketing strategy, and create a budget to reach your revenue goals.

Let’s look at a few examples:

  1. If you decide to open a pizza restaurant in New York City, you’ve got a ton of competition. You better have a secret family recipe that sets you apart! Beyond that, you’ll need a marketing budget upwards of 20% or more of your gross revenue to get noticed above all the noise in that market.
  2. If you decide to open an organic smoothie shop in a little beach town in California with no organic smoothie shop, you’re in a better position. You may be filling a niche that the community has wanted for years! If that’s the case, your budget will be much smaller than the new pizzeria in NYC.


Let’s talk about the “b” word for a minute. People hate the word “budget.” I’ve heard people say things like “I can’t afford to market my business. I just need more customers!”


But, how are you going to reach new customers? If you’re not going to put money toward reaching them, then you’re going to need to pound the pavement every spare minute or make cold-calls. It’s going to cost you something and that something is time, money, or both.


If you do nothing, it may cost you your business.

Just like anything else, to thrive, your business must be taken care of and nurtured. For a plant that looks like adequate sunlight, water, and fertilizer. For your business, that looks like a good product/service, great customer service, and marketing.

Marketing is only scary if you avoid it or ignore it. When you look it in the eye it’s actually very interesting.

(Or, I’m just a geek because I think it is! 🙂 )

Marketing is simply testing, testing, testing! It’s one big experiment. What makes online marketing so great is the data derived from everything you do. You can watch the numbers and see what works, and what doesn’t, and then shift your focus immediately; you’ve got complete control. All you need is a strategy, a budget, some bravery and you’re set!

I’ll wager you get hooked on it!

Spread the word!

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