When contemplating your first step toward marketing recovery, as a small business you should evaluate your budget, timings and priorities. Ultimately, you want to find a balance between commitment, in-house resources, and profitability. Before developing a marketing plan, ask yourself the following questions:

What are my immediate vs. long-term goals?

In our current economic climate, the immediate goal for many small businesses is just to stay afloat. Businesses may be getting by for the moment, but they need help to acquire new business and continue to grow through these challenging times. Think about what you want to achieve for your business in the next few months, and what you want to achieve in the next few years or the next decade. 

How much money can I put towards marketing right now?

Budget is going to determine what is possible in your marketing plan, and what will be added to your list of future goals. If you have a small budget, you’ll want to focus on the marketing efforts that are going to maintain your business for now. If you have a larger budget, you can look at things like Google Ads placements or video content creation. 

Think of it as a good, better, best scenario. You may wish to execute a full rebrand and website redesign, but if you have a smaller budget, we recommend starting with something more obtainable. For example, investing in new photography assets that can be used to refresh your website and social media can go a long way. It’s not a rebrand but can drastically upgrade your brand image without you doling out a lot of money. 

How much time do I or my employees have to dedicate to marketing each week? What marketing skills do we have in-house?

Do you have a few hours a week to write a blog or create and post organic social media content? Or do you have a team devoted to marketing that can implement a full marketing plan?

Your time as a small business owner is valuable, and you want to ensure your time spent on marketing each week is utilized wisely. If you only have a few hours of time a week to devote to marketing, focus on assets/content can be easily adapted. If you and your employees don’t have extensive knowledge or skills in a marketing area, and don’t have the time to learn, outsource to save on time and in-house stress. 

What content is going to reach my target audience and make a positive impact on my business the fastest? 

Think about your ideal customers/clients. What are their ages, demographics or interests? How do they interact with your business? Do they respond well to: email blasts/offers, social media ads or do they prefer traditional mailers? The answers to these questions will determine where you should invest the bulk of your marketing efforts. 

What marketing assets do I already have that I can refresh or upgrade with minimal effort? 

Make a list of the marketing tools, platforms you already use. Do you have a decent following on Facebook? Do you have a killer website that just needs a little bit of love? Do you have a long list of email contacts waiting for you to reach out? By refreshing the marketing assets you already have, you can make a quick turnaround that can benefit you in the short term.

For more marketing tips, check out our full Marketing Toolkit to Recover from COVID-19