When designing a business budget, you have to look at some areas where it is worth it to spend a bit more and a few areas where you might scale back a bit. While it’s possible to scale down on administrative issues, which focus on organisational tasks, it’s not a good idea to rein in revenue-generating projects because these determine the success of your business.
Here are some projects that you should definitely not constrain when you need to tighten your budget and which you should expand when more money is available:
1.) Going to conventions, trade shows, and county fairs.
Besides the cost of paying attendance fees and sending staff to events that can help you promote your business, you should invest some money in buying excellent signage, like branded displays and posters; promotional giveaways, like branded stationery and clothing, collateral marketing materials, like attention-getting brochures and business cards; and practical, structural items like branded tents or canopies.
If you are interested in attending events, click here to get some ideas on how to get some low-cost analog marketing done in a venue where people will likely be looking for services or products that your business offers.
2. Developing your online marketing.
Even if you just have a brick-and-mortar business, perhaps manufacturing products, offering physical services from an office, or selling goods from a retail store, you should definitely spend money developing an online presence.
Here are some ideas on how to be effective at digital marketing:
- Build a website which serves as a catalog for your business. It’s a place where you can talk about the benefits of your products or services, share your company history, and introduce your key staff to your audience. You can also make this an eCommerce website or link to one to get some direct sales.
- Create a blog to regularly create fresh content.
- Start a YouTube channel where you can create video-based content.
- Develop a social media presence on popular platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google Plus. You can also advertise on social media sites.
3. Increasing your sales efforts.
There are many ways that you can increase your sales efforts. Here are a few examples:
- Hire more sales reps so that you have more people out in the field.
- Invest in high-quality sales training taught by industry experts for your new sales reps rather than hoping that they just learn on the job.
- Do more demos at stores if you are a manufacturing company that sells consumer products, giving away free samples to familiarize people with your product.
- Use call centre services to manage all your outbound calls. This will free up your sales team to do more than make cold calls all day and spending most of their time leaving voice mail messages.
4. Improving your after-sales service.
The quality of your after-sales service has a huge impact on your business success. If you take care of your customers after you have made the sale, they are more likely to be loyal customers, preferring to buy again from you in the future rather than trusting a new company that they have no experience with. Additionally, they are more likely to enthusiastically endorse your business to family and friends.
5. Upgrading your technology.
The quality of the hardware, software, and equipment you use plays a significant role in how well you are able to stay competitive. If, for example, you have an on-premise computer system while your competitors are using a cloud provider and access the latest industry software, then you are going to be at a considerable disadvantage.
Not only is your computer infrastructure costing you more, but you can’t always afford the latest versions of the high-end software your business needs.
Meanwhile, your competitors are taking advantage of being able to rent out all their hardware and software needs for an affordable monthly fee. If a physical disaster should strike their business premises, all their data remains safely stored on a remote server and they always get the latest version of the software they need to run their business effectively.
Sensible business budgeting
When you own a company, you realise how important it is for your business stay on a budget. This constraint of not getting into debt is not an easy lesson to learn, especially if you’re a visionary who can see many possible ways to spend your money to grow your business at a faster rate. However, by allocating more money to vital aspects of your business, like marketing, sales, and customer service, you will still be able to maintain steady business growth.