As a freelancer, solo practitioner, or SOHO (Small Office Home Office) owner, you know that marketing is one of your most important activities. Because marketing is such an important part of your business plan, you should have a separate line item in your small business accounting program dedicated to all of your various marketing activities.
As you review all of your marketing activities and expenses from the last quarter, and evaluate any needed changes for this quarter, keep in mind the marketing goals you set for yourself when you wrote your original marketing plan and when you made your annual goals at the beginning of the year:
- Are you trying to achieve or improve your brand awareness?
- Are you only trying to directly increase your sales?
- Are you trying to achieve a balance of brand awareness and sales?
The answers to those basic questions will help you to review and refine the marketing goals and objectives for your 2nd quarter.
In today’s rapidly changing advertising and marketing landscape, and especially with moves to digital publishing and social media marketing, it is even more important for you to exactly decide which activities will yield the best return on your investment of time and/or money. Your online accounting software will help you to keep track of all expenses as well as all time spent so that you can assign a cash value to both types of marketing activities.
At least 30% of your gross sales or projected revenue should be dedicated to your marketing line item; how your budget is allocated among the various types of marketing activities and the different media outlets is based on your business and your preference, as well as the results you are able to track.
Keep in mind that most marketing activities are meant for short- and long-term results. Keep your expectations realistic as you track your time and expenses regularly.
Kashoo, Inc. (http://kashoo.com) develops easy-to-use accounting and bookkeeping software for small business owners around the world. Check out the company’s new iPad app, ideal for entrepreneurs on the move: available on the App Store. Founded in 2008, Kashoo is located in Vancouver, Canada. For more information about Kashoo, visit http://kashoo.com.