You’re an entrepreneurial Internet marketer. Much as you wish it to be so, you don’t have the virtually unlimited marketing budgets of multinational consumer goods companies or venture-funded startups with insanely generous credit lines.
You’ve got to watch every marketing dollar you spend. Which is why it’s so important to consider every significant overhead expense that you stand a decent chance of encountering.
Have you overlooked any of these six overhead expenses for Internet marketers?
1. Web Hosting
This is one of the more difficult marketing expenses to ignore. Even if you plan to eschew a flashy website and cultivate most of your business through old-fashioned word-of-mouth marketing, you’ll need at least a token web presence to convince prospects that you’re not a fly-by-night huckster.
If you’re building a content-rich marketing hub with multiple satellite sites, or offering full-service web design and development services for your clients, your web-hosting expenses will be a lot higher. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of cost-effective hosting options.
2. Cloud-Based Storage and Backup
The Internet is a dangerous, uncertain place. In the unlikely but entirely realistic event that your website (or, worse, your clients’) goes down in a targeted DDOS or ransomware attack, you’ll need backup software to reduce or eliminate downtime and data loss. You can’t control what happens in the Internet’s Wild West environment, but you can mitigate the potential damage to your business.
3. Anti-Malware Suites
Anti-malware software is another essential (and often overlooked) expense for marketers. While it’s important to practice good data hygiene and take proactive measures to strengthen your security posture, you simply can’t protect against every threat out there right now. A robust anti-malware suite does a lot of the hard work for you.
4. Virtual Private Network Subscription
A VPN is another important element of your security posture. It can also be a vital research aid that quite literally reveals what the Internet looks like from anywhere in the world, helps circumvent firewalls and state censors, and encrypts sensitive traffic that you don’t want bad guys to see.
5. Customer Relationship Management Software
Without a customer relationship management (CRM) suite, it’s virtually impossible to stay on top of your growing customer base’s demands. If you’re providing CRM as a service to some or all of your clients, you’ll need to spend up for an enterprise-grade solution capable of keeping all those balls in the air.
6. Market Research
Whether you’re packaging and selling insights to customers or keeping them for internal use, you’ll need to conduct market research on an ongoing basis. Don’t worry: this doesn’t mean holding regular focus groups in your home office. But you’ll need a robust survey design tool, for sure.
Stay Lean, Stay Hungry
Successful Internet marketers run lean shops. They invest with an eye to growth and do without non-essential products and services for which they can’t make a convincing business case.
By all means, address the overhead expenses you know you’ll need to survive and thrive in a cutthroat marketing landscape. Just don’t get too big for your britches otherwise. The long-term viability of your marketing shop could well depend on your fiscal discipline.
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