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Worksheet: Marketing Budget

Businesses big and small, struggle with this question. How much can I afford on Marketing? Instead of doing some research and determining a budget, they bypass marketing and hope their business will succeed on word of mouth. 

We have a worksheet that can help you determine your budget

Main Takeaways

  • 10-15% of your monthly income is a good range for marketing costs.

  • Even if you outsource your marketing to an agency, classify their fee as labor. It’s not a marketing cost!

  • Shoot for an Operating Expense Ratio (OER) between 60-80% of your income.

How This Works


Each expense (and your income) is broken into categories. Organize these as well as possible and the category header will calculate the percent of your income.


Fill out your targets at the beginning of the month. The “Actual” column can be updated as income and expenses occur - maybe set aside an hour a week to update this.


Generally speaking, you want to shoot for a 10-15% income range for your marketing costs. This might fluctuate, especially if you have particularly low labor or overhead costs and can afford to focus more on marketing.


Even if you outsource your marketing to a contractor or an agency, you are paying them for labor and should classify it as such. It may factor into your marketing department’s total budget, but your marketing category should exclusively be dollars that directly contribute to your outward-facing marketing.

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