So, a month and a half after the year starts, I've started working on 2010's budget. Rather sad really - but the good news is, I'm going to work on 2011 and 2012's budget too, projecting growth rates till then. I am so going to be wrong for 2011 and 2012, but at least something is better than nothing.
Particularly interesting though is how much we ended up spending on marketing last year - it worked out to be about 15% of our revenue, while this year it's going to be about 10% with the projected growth. I figure we'll probably hold at about 10% of revenue from then on, with more places advertised on and particularly, hiring someone to help work on marketing.
It's one of the factors of business of an online store that makes us so much more expensive than most people expect. Sure, our overhead cost is pretty low, but because we don't have a retail 'store front', the only way to gain customers is via advertising. So much (if not more) of our 'cost savings' of cheaper rent is shifted to marketing to get our name out.
Among other aspects of the budget, I've got to add in my salary and that of hiring someone this year. Both are interesting numbers to play with, both for timing and amount. I could for example hire someone now on a p/t basis, but there's a lot of paperwork involved in that. On the other hand, that'd allow me more time to focus on other aspects of business which could be quite important. I'm still in the initial stages, but the process is making some aspects of my business much clearer.