How to Create a Simple Business Budget

November 11, 2016

If you’ve ever taken the time to sit down and figure out where all of your money goes, you may find yourself cringing at some of those unnecessary expenses. The truth is that all businesses have a bit of “extra” at first, things that need to be shaved down to a minimum. Creating a budget is the best way to ensure every penny your business earns is going to the right place.

If you want to know how to create a simple business budget, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Figure out Fixed Costs

Many people will tell you to figure out how much you’re earning first, but we like to calculate expenses first. That way, we can ensure our income is covering our expenses.

First off, the fixed costs, things like:

Utilities
Salaries
Government and bank fees
Website hosting
Legal/accounting/insurance fees
Rent or mortgage
These costs will remain the same from month to month, so they’re the foundation of your budget.

Step 2: Include Changing Expenses

Next, figure out your added expenses, the ones that tend to change from month to month. This includes:

Materials
Contractor wages
Advertising
Commissions
Transportation
Travel
Events

Even if you don’t expect these expenses to occur every month, it’s a good idea to factor them into the budget. It’s much easier to set aside $100 per month for your annual business trip than try to scrounge up $1,000 when the time comes. Always set aside money in advance of the expenses, and you’ll never be caught flat-footed.

Step 3: Determine Income

Now it’s time to determine your business income. You need to not only look at the income of your product or services, but you need to examine things like:

Investment income
Savings
Loans
Additional income from secondary jobs
All of these things will help you to figure out how much of the previous two elements you can cover easily, and how much you’re missing to be “in the black”.

Step 4: Include Single-Occasion Expenditures

There are always going to be “one time” expenses:

New furniture for the office
Special software to improve productivity
Equipment upgrades or replacements
Office supplies
Gifts

These expenses are no less important, but nearly impossible to predict. It’s vital that you set aside a monthly sum for these expenses. That way, when they do crop up, you’ve got the money to cover it.

Step 5: Adjust as Necessary

Your budget doesn’t have to remain the same from year to year. In fact, given the changes in the economy, it’s important for you to adjust your budget on a regular basis. Examine your budget for pockets of money that are sitting dormant and could be put to better use, or for expenses you’re not quite covering properly. Adjust your budget regularly to keep up with the changes in your company as well.

Marketing is so much more than just creating social media posts and paying for advertising space. It comes down to a plan that will help you to reach your audience as effectively as possible, and with the best possible ROI. You have to approach it with the right mentality, which means:

Having an overall plan.

Each campaign you run should fit into the overall plan for marketing your business. With a master plan, it will be much easier to draw up the blueprints for smaller, individual campaigns and keep them all relevant to each other.

Having an objective.

Is the goal of your campaign to drive people to your website, increase clickthroughs, or generate revenue via sales? Having an objective will help you to know whether or not your campaigns succeeded.
Having metrics and parameters. You have to measure your results in order to determine whether or not they’re effective. That means establishing metrics and parameters for “success” or “failure”.

Staying under-budget.

Everyone has to operate within a budget! A small measure of success is being able to get the desired results without going over-budget.

Understanding your audience.

A lot of market research should go into your overall marketing plan. Once you understand your audience, it’s easier to know how to reach them with the right marketing campaigns.

Understanding your platforms.

You can’t post the same content to Facebook as you post to Twitter, Pinterest, or YouTube. All of your marketing campaigns should be tailored to the platform you are using.

Preparing well-crafted marketing materials.

You need materials that will do what you want them to: convert viewers into customers. That means putting a lot of thought into the copy you write, the images you use, and the message you’re trying to communicate. Refine the materials until you’re certain they do what you want them to.

Setting up a way to measure results.

You need to have tools to measure the results of your marketing efforts. This means tracking clicks, page views, conversions, sign-ups, and all of the other metrics you’ve established. Going back over the results of your marketing campaign will help you to learn from your mistakes and successes. You’ll be able to make the next one better!

It’s not easy to run a successful campaign, even if you’ve dedicated your life to marketing. But the tips above can help you to prepare yourself and your marketing campaign for a greater chance of success.

The word “brand” is usually used to refer to a company or line of products, but it actually goes beyond that. A company’s brand is the perception people have of that company. For example, thanks to Apple’s branding efforts, we all know that Apple products are sleek, cutting edge, and innovative (even if they don’t always live up to the hype) or that Nike is the brand for athletes (even if other brands have better products).

Your personal brand is the world’s perception of who you are. Building a personal brand is the best way to influence the people around you: employers, coworkers, employees, customers, supplies, even your competitors. By creating a personal brand, you control the narrative and help people perceive you the way YOU want them to.

How can you create your own personal brand?

Find the heart and soul.

What is the most important aspect of who you are and what you do? What is the “mantra” that drives your product or service? Think about what matters most to you, and that is the heart and soul of your brand.

Appeal to emotions.

Tugging on someone’s heartstrings is the best way to get them on your side. You need to think about how you make your product/service/persona to make people feel, and how you want them to perceive you. The emotional appeal of your brand is what will set you apart.

Determine your purpose.

What is it that you are offering to people? What do you have that makes you unique from others? Why do you stand out from the crowd? This goes beyond just the skills, products, or services you have to offer, but it includes your personality, character, and passions.

Describe yourself.

How would you describe yourself? Are you an artist, a leader, a strategist, or a team player? What words can you use to endear yourself to others emotionally? Think about the things about you that appeal most to others, and use that in your creation of your personal brand. Be a “passionate creator” or a “willing assistant” or an “enthusiastic leader”.

Keep it simple.

Your personal brand should be distilled to one or two simple concepts. Don’t try to be everything to everyone, but find your niche and make it work. Narrow the scope of your brand to a simple concept that everyone can relate to. The simpler the idea of you and your brand, the more easily people will be able to relate to it.

In the end, your personal brand is how the world will perceive you. It’s best if you can control the narrative and help people to see you the RIGHT way.

Conversion Optimization, also known as conversion rate optimization or CRO, is the optimization of your website/online sales funnel in order to increase conversion (turning visitors into clients). It has nothing to do with getting traffic to your website—instead, it is the art of using that website to increase sales.

The “sales funnel” concept is a simple one: you get visitors to your website/landing page from everywhere—SEO, social media, blog content, etc. Every one of those visitors can become a client. Your website or landing page contains content, images, videos, and information that will turn the visitor into a paying customer.

CRO is the optimization of your content so that it increases the chance of someone becoming a customer (conversion). CRO is often done by A/B testing or split testing: creating two similar versions of a landing page and testing them to determine which is more effective. You end up using the variant that has the highest conversion rate (clicks, sign-ups, downloads, sales, etc.). But you don’t stop there! You continue to create new and improved versions of your landing page to continue to optimize your conversion. Over time, you end up with a highly efficient sales funnel that will drive people to take action: join your mailing list, buy your product, contact you, and so on.

The good news is that you may only need to make minor changes to your website’s content, layout, structure, or presentation. Even small tweaks in theme, a few minimal word changes, or the addition or deletion of a video can make all the difference. The small changes can have a visible effect on the conversion of those visitors.
It’s vital for you to continually be looking for ways to do things better, especially in terms of your sales funnel. You want to increase your conversion rate as much as possible. You may not be able to drastically increase the number of visitors you get to your website, but you can ensure that MORE of those visitors are taking action once they’re on your site. In the long run, CRO can help you to do more even if you don’t have millions of unique visitors to your website every month.

Instead of investing in advertisements to encourage people to buy, you can drive them to your website. Once there, your content will do the work of converting them into customers. It’s a “soft sell” method that works far more efficiently than direct advertising!

Finding ways to reach new customer and extend your product/service’s reach can be a lot more complicated than you’d think. With so many avenues of outreach and marketing, you may have no idea which way to go. Thankfully, the best place to start is social media, an inexpensive easy way to reach potential new clients.

Here are five ways social media can help you grow your business:

Pay for more reach

Advertising via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be quite the investment, but it’s often more cost-efficient and effective than Google Advertising, print ads, or offline marketing. You will have to pay to extend your reach, but it will give you access to the millions or billions of users on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and all the other social media services.

Connect SEO and social media

Yes, Google does take your social media activity into account when setting your SEO rankings. The more tweets, shares, Likes, pins, follows and +1s your content has, the more “valuable” it is perceived to be—both by users and Google’s algorithm. YouTube followers and Google+ connections are the most valuable for your SEO ranking, but all social media activity plays a role in your visibility.

Brand yourself

Instead of focusing on promoting a product, you need to build your brand: the way people perceive your company and what you have to offer. Branding is the most effective way to advertise, and it increases the chance your customers will promote you by word-of-mouth. You’ll have to evaluate your marketing strategy to determine the best way to brand yourself, but it will pay off in the long run.

Cross-promote products

Social media gives you a chance to connect not only with your customers but those of other products or services. If you find companies to work with, you can leverage your social media platforms to boost each other’s visibility. You help them promote their product to your customers, and they do the same with your product to their customers. This cross-promotion can do wonders for everyone in the long run!

Connect with customers

In the end, happy customers are your best way to stay in business. A happy client is more likely to refer a friend or family member to your product or service, or they’ll promote your company or brand for you. Social media allows you to reach out to customers directly and offer them information, education, discounts, special deals, products, and gifts. The more you connect with your customers, the better!

Millennials (those born between 1980 and 2000) are one of the most important demographics to reach, but also one of the hardest. They have the highest buying power, influence, and social reach, meaning they may be the ones to target if you want to have the biggest success with your product or service.

But how can you reach millennials? Here are a few things to remember as you plan your digital marketing strategy:

Millennials love the latest and greatest.

From the newest hype to the latest social media platforms, millennials love anything that is trending and “now”. To reach them, you need to make sure your marketing content is relevant. Evergreen content has its benefits, but the shorter attention span of millennials means they’re going to focused on current events and trends.

Nothing is hidden.

Millennials tend to be very internet-savvy, meaning they can find the best deals on ANYTHING. Your marketing campaigns have to be built for people who can out-shop anyone, so make sure that your offerings are the best if you want success. If a competitor can offer a better quality product (or better-marketed product) at a better price, you’re sunk.

Be authentic.

Nothing turns off a millennial faster than someone who tries to be “hip” or “trendy”. They’re tired of people trying to “speak their language” and would much rather hear an authentic message. To really engage with millennials, make sure that the message is on-brand. If you can tie your brand in with the current trends, even better. But if not, authenticity is everything.

Sustainability matters.

One French survey found that fully 1/3 of millennials refused to purchase a product that wasn’t eco-friendly or fair-wage, even if the product came from their favorite brand. They value sustainability, equality, and social justice highly, so make sure your offerings meet their standards.

Make it interesting.

Dry news articles and press releases will do NOTHING for a millennial, but a well-crafted, visually engaging image can move products like hotcakes. Millennials need to be engaged visually, using videos, infographics, or images that are bright, appealing, and cater to their shorter attention span.

If your goal is to reach millennials, you need to adapt your way of thinking to meet their unique mindset and perspectives. Done right, a campaign that targets millennials can be highly effective and yield amazing results!

pay per click los angeles

Your business might be successful, but a solid pay per click campaign can keep it that way. Between Google AdWords, paid search, online advertising and cross-channel marketing, you have a lot of options to choose from. While a PPC strategy might instantly make you think about useless expenses, a good PPC campaign can make all of the difference.

PPC Campaigns Increase Revenue

Your business size doesn’t matter. A good PPC campaign will give you the ability to boost your bottom-line sales. It’ll also help you display your ads in front of active, engaged buyers. If your PPC campaign is planned effectively, it’ll boost your website’s traffic, its conversions and—ultimately—your revenue.

PPC Campaigns are Trackable

In 2018, knowing why you’re gaining digital marketing revenue matters. Fortunately, today’s leading PPC strategies include money-tracking components. You can easily determine whether your PPC campaign is working. More importantly: You can make adjustments to allocate your resources in effective areas.

PPC Campaigns Help Your Promotions

By clicking on your ads, users are directed to your landing page. Then, they can see your promotions, offers and discounts. The omni-channel marketing opportunities offered by PPC campaigns are limitless. You can even connect your PPC campaign to a mobile website, giving users instant connectivity to your ecommerce platform.

Is your business geared up for a PPC strategy? Contact Resolve Internet Marketing today, and get a free, no-obligation consultation. We’ve served our Los Angeles businesses for years. Now, we want to help you. By creating a solid PPC strategy, you can be the memorable business your customers deserve.

Influencers matter! If you want to grow your business quickly, have a solid social media presence and attract a lot of visitors, you’ll need to make sure you’re picking the right ones. While influencer marketing plays a huge role in spreading brand awareness, it won’t get you far unless you’re paying close attention to your influencers, channels and website content.

Resolve Internet Marketing can help. We’ve spent years mastering influencer marketing. If you need advice, call us today to get a free, no-obligation consultation. Then, check out these five business-boosting influencer marketing tips.

Tip One: Identify Your Influencers

Get a good handle on the social media influencers who’re aligned with your type of business. Then, find influencers who offer similar products and services. The right influencers can convey your message to followers. Sometimes, a good influencer is a famous person. Other times, they’re simply well-known brands.

Tip Two: Gather Micro Influencers

You’ll need micro influencers, too! Micro influencers have less followers than famous influencers. This said, they tend to interact with their audience more than famous influencers. They’ll also cost less than big-name influencers.

Tip Three: Connect Your Forces

Once you’ve gathered your different influencers, reach out to them. Build a connection with them. Chalk out any agreement details, and make sure you double-check them for legitimacy. Then, if possible, connect them via a fluid social media marketing network.

Tip Four: Measure Your Social Media Presence

You won’t know how effective your campaign is until you measure it. Ask Resolve Internet Marketing how much your social media presence has improved. Our powerful tools and trained professionals can offer an in-depth analysis of your lead generation, sales increases and overall likes, followers, comments and engagement.

Tip Five: Endorse and Promote

If your influencers are endorsing you, make them more visible. Share their quotes, social media profiles and posts. By making them more visible, you make their job easier. You’ll also boost your own digital marketing efforts.

Give us a call today, and ask more about influencer marketing. The social media world is big, but influencers keep people connected. If you want to be a memorable provider, you’ll need to hang out with memorable people.

A brand is more than just a logo or a range of products: it’s an idea that you want to sell to people. Your goal is to position yourself as the “go-to” brand for the product or service you are providing. In order to do that, you have to create a positive image for yourself.

Just like you’d “dress for success”, you need a website that is consistent with your brand. That means a logo, color scheme, and layout that communicates clearly what you are trying to say. The subtle psychology of colors, shapes, lines, and design has a lot of power, and we harness that power to position YOU as the expert you need to be.

Branding plays a vital role in the success of your company!
Our graphic design team specializes in creating visually stunning images for your website, logo, apparel, marketing material and much more. We’re experts at using images, colors, and designs to tell the story YOUR story. With our designs, your website will tell users exactly what to expect from you and your product or service.

We can create a “brand” for you from scratch, or we’ll work with your existing branding to create a
positive representation across all mediums. Heck, we’re even happy to revamp your current brand and help to evolve your image. We’re all about helping you put your best foot forward, which means creating a brand that people recognize and respect.

But we’re so much more than just a graphic design service. We have great partnerships with some of the best promotional marketing companies, so whatever you are looking for we can help you design it and get it produced.

 

Contact us to find out how we can help you with your business!

 

There are thousands of tools you can use to make your website more effective at converting visitors into clients– everything from online shopping carts to social media tools to landing pages to pop-ups. All of these tools can increase your conversion rate, leading to a better return on your investment in your website.

At Resolve Internet Marketing our conversion optimization experts use many tools to increase your conversion rate. We not only take advantage of the basics provided by Google Analytics, Resolve uses our proprietary process of tracking and evaluating customer behavior. We can analyze everything from how long a visitor was on your site, to where they moved their mouse, and even where they clicked. This information allows us to make necessary changes to your site that promote conversions and get your customers buying.

Our goal is to design a website that encourages your visitors to click on that “Buy Now” or “Contact” link.We use the many analytics tools available for free, as well as proprietary tools created specifically for Resolve clients. With these tools, we have everything we need to track your visitor activity and find out which elements of your website are the most/least effective. That data helps us to make changes that will increase conversion rate.

Want to find out what we can do?

Contact us for a free consultation, and we’ll happily give you a demonstration of how our conversion analytics tools can work for you and your website. Once you see what we can do, you’ll know we’re your best bet to turn visitors into loyal customers!

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