Creating a marketing budget for your business is a critical step in your marketing strategy. Without a detailed budget and a well-thought-out marketing plan, you could end up spending more than you intended on your marketing efforts or spending less than you should have to get results.

Use this Annual Marketing Budget template to estimate your annual marketing expenses.

This spreadsheet provides space to list your budget for brand development, public relations, advertising, website development, market research, sales and event support and marketing travel.

How Big Should Your Marketing Budget Be?

How much should you spend on your marketing budget? That depends on several factors, including:

  • Your industry: In certain industries, marketing accounts for a higher percentage of the budget than in others. Your industry association or SCORE mentor can help you find benchmarks you can use to estimate a marketing budget that works for your business.
  • Business growth stage: A business that’s well established may not need to invest as much money in marketing as a company that’s just starting out and needs to build brand awareness.
  • Your goals: If you just want to keep your sales at their current level, you may be able to get by with a minimal marketing budget. However, if you hope to increase your sales by 20% in the next year, you’ll need to increase your marketing budget to reach that goal.

Keep in mind that marketing is an investment, not an expense. Marketing is how you let people know about your business and persuade them to buy your product or service, so it’s not something you can do without.

However, there are ways to reduce your marketing costs without shortchanging results. For example, you might decide to use a freelance marketing consultant rather than hiring a marketing or PR agency, or to focus your efforts on more affordable digital marketing tactics rather than pricey print marketing materials.

You can modify the Annual Marketing Budget template as needed to fit your business’s unique marketing situation.

If you need help developing your marketing strategies and creating a marketing budget, connect with a SCORE mentor online or in your community to get free, customized advice.

budget