Post No. 43

What should a small business budget for graphic design services?

Your small business budget helps ensure the most critical areas of your business are accounted for. Yours may include things like taxes, office space, payroll, operating expenses, and so on. Proactively aligning your budget to your business priorities is essentially putting your money where your mouth is. For example, if you’re planning to hire for a new role next year, you’ll want to increase your payroll budget allocation accordingly. While some areas of your small business budget are pretty cut and dried, others can be a little more tough to nail down.

If you’re like most small business owners, you have no clue what to budget for branding, marketing, and graphic design services. Instead of proactively planning, you haphazardly throw money at some print materials, website updates, Google Ads campaigns, and discount SEO services as needs and opportunities present themselves. You probably don’t know what it all adds up to and, more importantly, if you’re even getting a good return on your investment.

Proactively budgeting gives you the peace of mind that you’re investing the right amount of money into your small business brand based on your specific industry and stage of business.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), you should base your marketing and graphic design budget on a percentage of your revenue. Depending on your industry and stage of business, the amount can range from 1% to 12%. If you’re just starting a new small business with no revenue yet, it is important to factor branding and marketing in your startup budget so people can find your new business. While it is essential for all small businesses to set aside a percentage of revenue for marketing and graphic design services, there is good news. As you grow, the percentage of revenue needed to sustain healthy momentum typically gets smaller with time.

As you nail down your marketing and graphic design budget, don’t overthink it. Using the SBA guidelines, set your allocation somewhere between 1% and 12% depending on your business. The important thing is to “just do it” even if you have to start small. Fortunately, the vast majority of small businesses can get away with outsourcing their branding, marketing, and graphic design work to a comprehensive brand management team at a fraction of the cost of building an in-house team. If that is you, you may be able to settle into the lower half of the SBA guidelines once your small business brand is up and running.

Do you have more questions about building your small business brand? We’ve got you covered. Visit our Graphic Design FAQs to get straightforward answers to our most frequently asked questions from other small business owners just like you.