Boosting your small business revenue and brand recognition is critical to your success, but it’s impossible to do those things without effective small business marketing. Whether you’re a small mom-and-pop shop looking to move your advertising online or a start-up unsure of the best way to attract customers, your marketing budget will dictate how much can be done to get the word out about your business.

Know Your Starting Benchmarks

Before you can set goals for where you’d like to go, you need to familiarize yourself with your current benchmarks. How many site visits do you have a month? How many leads are you currently generating through your advertising? How many of those leads turn into actual sales? If you have any marketing currently, take stock of whether or not it is working for you and responsible for any leads or sales.

Determine Your Goals

Once you know your starting point, you can set realistic goals for your growth. What are your small business objectives for the quarter? The year? Three years? How does your marketing plan need to factor into reaching these goals? If you want rapid and aggressive growth, your small business marketing budget will need to reflect that. However, if you want slow and steady growth, your small business marketing budget can be a bit more modest.

Shift Your Perspective

Before assigning a specific number to your marketing budget, keep in mind that small business marketing is an investment in the future of your company and brand, not simply another expense. Look at what you have invested in marketing up until this point and which channels have offered the best return. Also, keep in mind that channels that boost your brand image without necessarily leading to direct sales are still serving a purpose.

Keep it Simple When Assessing Trends

A big mistake that many small business owners make is investing a great deal into new and trendy marketing methods without fully understanding them. While blogs and newsletters are proven ways to get a return on your investment, a sponsored Instagram post might not be the best use of marketing funds if your customers primarily use Facebook. Instead of hopping to the latest marketing trends, stick with what has been proven.