Have you ever wondered how small town companies make the leap into the big leagues?
With a solid marketing strategy and a lot of hard work. You know that guy who seems to have time for his family, his friends, and has a growing business at the same time?
That guy has a solid marketing plan that automates, dominates, and utilizes every corner of his target market.
That being said it’s pretty clear what needs to happen next:
You need to create a marketing plan. You need to know exactly how to market your business.
Though it may take a little time out of your precious day, a marketing plan is more than worth it. Don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s all about the production line. Listen to what Entrepeneur has to say:
“In the daily hurly-burly of competitive business, it’s hard to turn your attention to the big picture, especially those parts that aren’t directly related to the daily operations. You need to take time periodically to really think about your business–whether it’s providing you and your employees with what you want, whether there aren’t some innovative wrinkles you can add, whether you’re getting all you can out of your products, your sales staff and your markets. Writing your marketing plan is the best time to do this high-level thinking.”
Why Do I Need a Marketing Plan?
No matter the size of your business, a marketing plan will maintain company goals and develop your product or service to better serve your target market.
With a marketing plan your mission statement is clearly outlined in every operation of your business.
By establishing what part of the market you should focus your attention on, your business functions flawlessly while you expand your brand by building the business that delivers the most value in advance to customers.
“Who should see your plan? All the players in the company. Firms typically keep their marketing plans very, very private for one of two very different reasons: Either they’re too skimpy and management would be embarrassed to have them see the light of day, or they’re solid and packed with information . . . which would make them extremely valuable to the competition.” –Entrepreneur.com.
Obviously, you should aspire to the latter.
Not only will a quality marketing plan guide your team through the next fiscal year, retired marketing plans become a great resource in decision making in future projects and endeavours. Plus, who doesn’t want to keep a record of their company’s growth?
What Should My Marketing Plan Include?
Everyone’s marketing plan looks different. The lists you create through creating your marketing plan will be catered to your business, so try not to let empty avenues bother you too much. Adversely, if there is an opportunity you’re leaving behind, it’s best to double-back.
Here’s a list of some information to gather before attempting a marketing plan of your own:
Background. How has your brand appeared to customers in the past? Gather your analytics, charts, and research. Prior and current rates will help you establish the direction you want to move with your marketing plan.
Objectives. What do you want to achieve? Take a moment to make a realistic goal for your company. Establish if you want to expand your market, raise your sales, or increase your return on investment. (Though we hope you want all three.)
Strategies. Sit down and list all current products and market. Then compile new projects, new markets, and define new promotions and programs.
Tactics. How is your team going to make this happen? Decide what advertising avenues to attack. From your website, to their emails, as well as the direct marketing you intend to carry out (trade shows, events, direct mail).
At this Point…
You’re probably getting a good idea of where you need to improve.
However, life is never that simple. Now you have to figure out how you’re going to repair those bridges. Don’t get discouraged, building your own marketing plan is a pretty difficult task. It takes the average small business months to create one. (Struggling? I’ve got a few ideas.)
Set out a time every year or so where you and your team take a fresh look at the company’s marketing plan.
After all, when you’re constantly expanding you should be outgrowing your old marketing plan. It’s the smartest move for any small business owner who want’s to increase the demand of their product and better yet, increase the cost of supplying it to the public.
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