This was the excellent title of an excellent blog post I came across, and if your immediate reaction was, "But my business is too small for a marketing budget," hear me out.
Many small business owners think of marketing spending as eating into profits. Think of it instead as setting an intention for your business to grow: Setting that budget means you have a long-term vision for your business and you are serious about getting there. A marketing budget forces you to establish concrete goals and have a plan. This is why every business, regardless of size, needs a marketing budget.
So how much should you budget? Search the internet for advice and you'll see a range of recommendations from 3 to 8 percent (The U.S. Small Business Administration recommends spending 7 to 8 percent of your gross revenue). Always start with your revenue. Is 3 percent achievable? 5 percent? Whatever your budget, invest in the essentials: your website, and your social media, search, and email marketing. This will enhance your brand, nurture customer loyalty, maintain an edge against your competition, and increase traffic to your website.