When starting a business, you were probably conservative, knowing you couldn’t spend more than you can afford. But once you’ve moved pass the danger zone of a new business, you forget your conservative ways and dream bigger than ever before. You want to roll with the big guys, so the temptation is to emulate them.

But a business going through fast growth (no matter what size, how old, or how successful) is just as much in danger as when you first started. Add to it unwisely, and you risk becoming top heavy. And when the winds of change blow, your company will become susceptible to damage.

Many companies undermine their success by doing what they think is the next step, rather than considering options, counting costs, and determining profitability. So instead of jumping in and creating a marketing department, compare the costs to contracting that work out, both by project and on-going.


Chances are, if you’re considering hiring for your marketing needs, you aren’t even close to building a department. But even wages for one Marketing Specialist is more expensive than outsourcing to a contractor- Even one as comprehensive as Storm Stanley’s team of specialists in marketing, web design, graphic design, videography, photography, writing, and public relations.

Hiring staff is not just about wages, but before we can proceed we have to start with wages. According to Salary.com, the average pay for Marketing Specialist is $50,070.

Benefits and Taxes

Starting out, you may consider part-time employees or offering very few benefits. But if you want to compete with larger companies for quality applicants and hires, you will spend significantly more on benefits.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated a national average of 30.3% of private employer costs for employee compensation went to benefits alone. These calculations include national averages for:

  • retirement and savings
  • paid leave  (vacation, holiday, sick, personal)
  • supplemental pay (overtime and premium, shift differentials, non-production bonuses)
  • insurance (life, health, short-term disability, long-term disability)
  • legally required benefits (social security and Medicare, federal and state unemployment, worker’s compensation)

Once you’ve decided which benefits and determined the costs, you can calculate your benefits costs at Salary.com.


This is where estimates get really tricky, because different employees have different needs. For instance, a writer is less likely to need expensive software than, say, a graphic designer or web designer. And if you’ve hired only one person to do it all, the overhead for that employee can be more since they are the sole user of resources like high-quality printer, etc.

Some of the major overhead expenses to consider in your estimate include:

  • Initial training and integration (administrative, trainer, materials, time)
  • Professional development and continued education
  • Administrative services (payroll, human resources, management, legal, recruitment)
  • Office space
  • Office equipment (desk, chair, printer, copier, lounge, conference table and chairs, phone)
  • Software
  • Office supplies
  • Mileage and meals
  • Communications (internet, email server, landline, mobile, fax)
  • Technology (computer, phone, tablet)

Oh, and the time it takes to figure out exactly what your marketing staff needs.

Bad Hires

Some calculations you can’t predict. Bad hires can cost low or poor productivity,  job abandonment, higher than average management attention and resources, damaged B2B and customer relationships, costs of firing, low morale, and replacement costs. And even with the best employees, you have to ensure a workload to keep them profitable and satisfied.

Bottom Line Estimates

Basically, costs of an employee can increase to 60% of their wages. That means for just one Marketing Specialist, you’ll pay an average of almost $72,000. And for a full marketing staff comparative to Storm Stanley, you may be paying well over half a million dollars. Not to mention the costs of developing and implementing your marketing.

Can your company sustain that kind of growth? Will your business see enough profit from this kind of growth?

Until You’re Ready…

Eventually, your business may be able to sustain a Marketing Department. But until then, a safer route is to contract your work out.

Let’s get together and develop a customized marketing plan. Then you will be better prepared to make a decision as to whether or not your business’s foundation will sustain its growth.

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