How To Determine The Proper Marketing Budget For Your Small Business

Brett Lewis - L4 Group

Brett Lewis
- June 5, 2023

digital marketing budget for small business

As a business owner in the heating oil, propane delivery, or HVAC industry, you understand the significance of strategic investments. Among these, setting a marketing budget is crucial, not just for growth but for survival in today’s competitive market. This guide is designed to help you navigate the complexities of allocating your small business marketing budget effectively.

Understanding the Importance of a Marketing Budget in Your Business

Marketing is the engine that drives visibility, customer acquisition, and ultimately, revenue. For specialized sectors like heating oil and propane delivery or HVAC services, a well-planned marketing budget ensures you reach your target audience effectively. It’s about making smart investments to stay ahead of competitors and resonate with your customers.

How Much Should a Small Business Budget for Marketing?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but as a rule of thumb, small businesses should allocate between 7-8% of their gross revenue to marketing if they’re aiming for growth. However, this can vary based on your business’s size, growth stage, and the competitive landscape in the heating oil, propane, and HVAC industries. If you’re a new business or looking to expand rapidly, consider pushing this percentage higher to make a more significant impact.

How to Create a Marketing Budget for Your Heating Oil, Propane, or HVAC Business

Creating a marketing budget involves several steps:

  1. Review Your Business Goals: Align your marketing strategy with your business objectives. Are you looking to expand your customer base, enter new markets, or increase brand awareness? Your goals will influence how you allocate funds.
  2. Analyze Past Performance: Look at previous marketing efforts and their outcomes. What worked? What didn’t? This analysis helps in making informed decisions.
  3. Consider Industry-Specific Channels: Digital marketing can be a game-changer, especially in niche sectors. Allocate funds to SEO, social media, and email marketing – these are cost-effective and yield high returns.
  4. Set a Flexible Budget: Be prepared to adjust your spending based on performance and market changes. In industries like ours, where seasonal demand affects business, flexibility is key.

Marketing Budget Template for Heating Oil, Propane, and HVAC Companies

To simplify this process, we offer a downloadable marketing budget template specifically designed for your industry. It helps you categorize expenses and track ROI, ensuring you make the most of every dollar spent. This interactive tool is user-friendly and adaptable to your specific business needs.

Best Practices for Managing Your Marketing Budget

  • Track and Measure: Regularly review your marketing spend against outcomes. This will help you understand which strategies are working and which are not.
  • Stay Informed: Keep an eye on industry trends. The heating oil, propane, and HVAC markets are dynamic, and staying updated will help you make better marketing decisions.
  • Be Adaptable: Don’t hesitate to reallocate funds if a particular strategy is underperforming. Flexibility is key to maximizing your marketing budget.


Setting the right marketing budget is more of an art than a science, especially in specialized industries like ours. It requires understanding your business goals, market dynamics, and the effectiveness of different marketing channels. Remember, a well-planned marketing budget is an investment in your business’s growth and sustainability.