Business owners have lots of things to juggle in their day-to-day activity. Between struggling to keep your business healthy, finding new leads, caring for actual customers and improving your products or services, there’s very little time left for anything else. The big question is how much money a business owners should spend on marketing, in order to ensure their efforts pay off. There’s no way you can overlook marketing, as it is the main endeavor that brings customers to your business.
These being said, it comes without saying that you can’t spend all of your time on marketing activities.
Ok, if not all of your time, then how much of it to invest in marketing? This depends on your type of business. Not all businesses in all areas of activity are the same. Generally speaking, depending on a few things which we are going to discuss in this article, you should probably invest 10 to 30 percent of your time in marketing.
Let’s take a closer look into these numbers and into the main activities you should dedicate your time to.
To Identify The Most Important Strengths And Weaknesses Of Your Marketing Strategy
Before you start doing the math to determine how many hours to spend on marketing, you should take time to assess your current marketing strategy. Chances are you’ll identify several weak spots and some areas for improvement.
For instance, let’s say that your business has a huge following on social media and also gets a steady flow of high-quality leads from various advertisements such as radio and print. One of their main competitors gets way more traffic from the web, but their website is outdated and difficult to navigate. There’s a gap in your marketing efforts you could take advantage of.
Let’s take another example. Let’s say you have on online store that sells garage doors and you have a very successful marketing strategy. You have blog posts on lots of websites in your industry and you publish videos that attract a high amount of traffic. Even though your content is excellent, your social media accounts have almost not followers and you don’t rank even for the less competitive search terms in your niche.
These are two examples of weaknesses you can work to improve. However, if you search, you’ll probably identify also some strengths. By doing this SWOT analysis, you can identify the areas of marketing that could use some improvement and the areas where you already dominate your market.
Is Outsourcing Your Marketing A Good Idea?
Outsourcing can be a very lucrative strategy to help you overcome marketing gaps. If you know what are your weakest areas, you can tell at least what kind of marketing agency you’d need to search for.
For instance, the business owner in the first example above could use a content updating and some search engine optimization. The one in the second example could use some SEO works and some social media help. These are only hypothetical examples to help you understand how to identify the gaps in your marketing strategy and how to find the right marketing services provider to address them.
When To Hire A Marketing Agency
If you can afford it, you should hire a marketing agency right after you identify your areas for improvement. By outsourcing things you may not know very much about, you’ll free up your time to spend it on what you do best, which is to improve your offerings and to keep your clients happy. If you can’t outsource, you should start to factor in some time for these marketing activities.
Briefly, the amount of time you’ll need to take into account for marketing depends on your specific situation and needs, so it is up to you to find the right balance.
Nevertheless, what’s a good rule of the thumb to keep in mind?
You should probably plan to spend anywhere between 10 and 30 hours per week on marketing activities. If your work week counts 50 to 60 hours, you should consider spending 10 to 30 hours a week on marketing. However, keep in mind that this is only a rough estimation of the time needed to do a good job. You are the only one who can tell whether 10 hours are enough or you need rather 30, 40 or even 50 hours to make a difference.
Generally speaking, most business owners spend about 1/5 to 50 percent of their time on marketing activities. Considering a work week of 50 to 60 hours, the result is 10 to 30 hours per week.
Some business consultants recommend their clients a ratio of 60-30-10 when it comes to splitting the work time between the different activities. Feel free to adjust these percentages as you see fit.