Setting a Marketing Budget for your Landscaping Business
Personal life moves very fast these days. Business life moves even faster. The business of landscaping and outdoor living design, build, and maintenance moves faster yet because the seasons of the year drive fluctuating demand so substantially.
I don’t know about you, but if I don’t plan my family’s vacation in advance, putting money away over the course of the year, it simply wouldn’t happen. Trust me when I say that the marketing budget for your landscaping company is no different.
The highly debated question of how much a small business should spend on marketing is one that gets confusing very quickly. Most sources will suggest that the magical number is between the huge range of 3% to 30% of a company’s yearly sales revenue. The U.S. Small Business Administration says that if your business is doing less than $5 million a year in sales—with approximately a 10% net profit margin— you should be investing about 8% of your yearly sales revenue. Let’s have a look at that when applied directly to deciding on a marketing budget for your landscaping company.
Let’s say that your landscaping company generates $2 million a year in revenue. If you were to hit the 8% mark, your marketing budget would be $160,000. Now remember, this budget includes a lot of things in the real world of operating a landscaping business. Websites, social media, advertising, portfolio design, truck lettering, branding pieces like landscaping brochures, business cards, and even employee uniforms are included in this spend for most outdoor living industry entrepreneurs.
While I would agree that the benefits of investing in proper marketing is critical to the success and longevity of any landscaping business, I would also argue that most landscaping companies with revenues under the $5 million mark are not investing 8% on their marketing. You get what you put in - this is just as true for marketing spend and effort.
That said, let’s take that same $2 million landscaping company and cut the SBA’s recommended percentage of 8% in half. What if that company invested just 4% of their revenue each year to increase website traffic, drive more qualified landscaping leads, and sell more landscaping projects? That would amount to just $80k/year.
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