Don’t let your marketing dollars get stuck in the vending machine.

It happens to everyone. It’s like a rite of passage. You go to the vending machine to buy your raisinets and get your major chocolate fix. You put your money in the machine but your candy gets stuck.

You’re bummed out. You weren’t expecting this to happen. You’re faced with the decision of putting more money in the machine to get what you want – or calling some number to complain, (do they ever answer?) knowing you will never get your money back.

Doesn’t it stink when you spend money and you don’t get what you pay for? Or you have to pony up more money when you thought you wouldn’t have to? Especially if it’s for your business!

First off, when you spend money in your business, think of it as an investment. Don’t just think of it as an expense. That way you will be in the mindset of getting a return on your money, which is really what you are paying for.

Let’s pretend you are considering hiring a marketing consultant to redo your whole brand. Here are 5 things you can do as a business owner to make sure you get what you set out to get in the first place.

Is the fee a one-time fee or will you pay as you go? How much time does the fee cover? One week, six months, twenty years (you still reading this?) or as long as it takes to get what you want? It’s important to be really clear about the length of the engagement. That way, there will be no surprises.

Does the fee cover advice and implementation? Sometimes you will get advice to do something, and then you will have to go implement the advice and pay again. For example, your marketing person may advise you to create a company brochure. But what if the fee didn’t include the cost to literally create it? You’d have to pay again. Total stinker. You wouldn’t even get your raisinets.

Rounds of edits. Most marketing plans include 2 or 3 rounds of edits. Find out the pricing for each additional round (the 3rd or 4th). Use your edits wisely so you don’t have to spend extra money. Get those raisinets the first time!

Communication updates. So many marketing people are highly creative and have amazing ideas. But sometimes they fall off the face of earth (like your contractor,) and they are nowhere to be found. Make sure your marketing person gives you weekly status updates, so you can track your progress. It’s the worst feeling in the world to pay for marketing, and get no status updates! Geez. Try paying as you go for marketing help. That way the marketing person has skin in the game and will need to show up.

The scope of the project. You need to be clear on what you are specifically paying for. For example, if you are paying for a website design and a logo, that is all you will receive. If it turns out that you need a Facebook business page, that will be more money. Just make a list of what you are paying for, so you can get what you pay for and stay on track. Wait a minute – don’t make a list. Ask your marketing person to give you a proposal and an outline of what you will get.

There you have it. No more marketing money getting stuck in the vending machine. It’s time for you to get your raisinets.

Important Disclosures: These blogs are provided for informational and educational purposes only, represents our views as of the date of the posting only, and may change without notice. Some of the information has been obtained from third parties and believed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed. We have not considered any investment objectives or financial situations of any investors and we are not responsible for consequences for any decisions made based on the information in the blogs. There is risk of loss from investing in securities, which varies depending on different types of investments. Forward looking statements are based on assumptions only and no reliance should be placed on such statements. We do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information displayed.
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Author's Bio: 

Justin Krane, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professional, is the founder of Krane Financial Solutions. Known for his savvy, holistic approach to financial planning, he advises his clients on how to unite their money with their lives and businesses.

Using a unique system developed from his studies of financial psychology, Justin partners with entrepreneurs to identify, clarify and meet goals for increasing their business revenue. He works with entrepreneurs to create a bigger vision for their business with education and financial modeling.