A man with a very successful small business recently called me up to tell me that he was ready to take his business to the next level. I ask him what that meant; he responded that he wanted more. I continued to probe, asking him what “more” was. He told me I asked good questions. Then he started to describe his business. He explained that he wanted to get more clients who could spend more money with him, and that he wanted to do it in a profitable way.

Now the conversation was beginning to get productive, because we were talking about a well-defined objective. But all that came to a screeching halt the moment I mentioned that evil word: budget. Budget is a word that most small business owners hate to hear. Even executives at some midsize companies squirm when they hear “What is your budget?”

How can a business run without a marketing budget? There is a mentality out there that if you have a budget you will end up just wasting it, because once you define how much money you are going to spend, it’s as if you had already spent it. But that couldn’t be further than the truth.

Creating an intelligent budget is the most important thing you can do for your business. It’s probably more important than figuring out how to spend it, especially when it comes to marketing. One of the reasons I love digital marketing so much is that it is highly measurable. You can measure exactly what part of your budget is working and what part isn’t, and then adjust the numbers accordingly.

Click here to read about the five questions you need to ask yourself before creating a marketing budget for your small business.

Article Written By: Joe Apfelbaum, CEO and co-founder of the digital marketing agency Ajax Union, public speaker, certified Google Trainer, and published author.