Creating a Small Business Marketing Plan
It is imperative that, as a small business owner, you create a marketing plan. It's
also imperative that you realize your marketing plan is going to be a work in progress.
Your plan (and you!) must be flexible enough to change and adapt to the current market
conditions, changes in the economy, advances in technology and so on.
Here are six great tips to keep in mind when you begin creating your own small businessmarketing plan:
1. Establish Goals
Your small business marketing plan should be very goal oriented. Being able to visually
see what your intentions are for your business can often help you plan and organize in a
way that will help you reach your goals quicker and more efficiently. Before beginning
your marketing plan you should sit down and write out exactly what goals you intend to reach.
Next, figure out a rough idea of how you plan to reach these goals. Be as specific as
possible; include exact numbers (number of clients, number of products, number of
websites, etc), exact dollar amounts (amount of sales, amount of profit, amount of
affiliate commissions, etc) and exact dates (when your website will be completed, when
your sales calls will be made, when your products will be released, etc.) There is no way
you can draft an outline of what you plan to do with your business unless you really know
what you want out of your business.
2. Identify Yourself
Though many small business owners do not see the point in creating a brand for
themselves, you are creating a brand whether you realize it or not. So why not do it
deliberately? Include in your marketing plan exactly what you want your customers' and the
market's perception of your business to be. What personality will your business take on?
What do you want to be known for? What do you want the "gossip" about you to be about?
This should be spelled out in your marketing plan and should be something that you
actively strive for on a day to day basis.
3. Develop a Budget
Be sure to include in your yearly marketing plan the budget for the year as well as
your plan for achieving this budget. Though there will always be additional financial
documentation separate from the marketing plan, it helps to include exactly what your
goals are for spending, budget, and earning. This way you have a perfect example to look
at; and remember to always leave room for flexibility and editing of your marketing plan.
4. Describe Your Product or Service
One of the greatest things about your small business marketing plan is that it will
come in very useful as your business grows. You'll be able to hand it off to your new team
members and they'll have a perfect sense of where the business is going and how it's going
to get there.
But one of the funniest things I encounter in working with small businesses is that
many of the ancillary team members can't exactly tell me what the business they work for
does. Since they're only involved in a small portion of the business, they're not familiar
(or have never been told) the big picture. This is especially true with consulting
businesses and service providers.
So be sure to describe in detail your product or service and how it will improve the
lives of your customers. Many small business owners skip this step, thinking they already
know exactly what they do. But remember, you'll have a larger audience than just yourself
for your small business marketing plan - and you might be pleasantly surprised at useful
this step is to you and how you view your future marketing activities.