If you are an owner of a small business and do not have a marketing plan, you are destined to fail. And I’m not necessarily talking about a business plan with all the financials and stuff. Those are important too, but if you choose not to have a concrete plan for your marketing, all you’re going to accomplish is to become one of the 90% of small business failure stories.
Planning is integral. You won’t even go to the supermarket without some sort of plan. How do you expect to run a successful business without one? As you read through every one of these tips you’ll realize that your small business marketing success depends on having a great marketing plan. 5 crucial elements of a small business marketing plan are as follows:
1) Vision – It’s important that you create a vision statement for your small business. Something that can always be there to let you know what it is your business is all about and where you want to go. Here’s an example from Microsoft: “a personal computer in every home running Microsoft software.”
2) Your Clients – Your small business marketing plan should also include who your ideal clients are. Those people you want to open their wallets and give you their money. If you can determine the age, gender, income, habits, likes and dislikes of your ideal client you’ll be far ahead of the game when it comes time to strategize.
3) Competition – Just as it’s important to figure out who you’re selling to, it’s also important to figure out who is already selling to them. Once you narrow down who your competition is, you can determine what they do that works and what they do that doesn’t and craft your own campaigns accordingly.
4) Goals – Just like you’ve gotta have vision, you also gotta have goals. Set a reachable one year goal and this will help you in deciding which actions to take along the way. Your goal can be financial, or in terms of customers or market share, or all of the above. Just be sure to make it lofty enough for a challenge, but realistic enough to stay focused.
5) The Strategy – Once you’ve figured out all of the above elements, it’s time for the strategies themselves. What marketing actions are you going to take over the coming year that will enable you to reach your goals? Will you be doing radio spots? Print ads? Web marketing? A combination of the three? There are countless tactics you can use. If you can’t decide which way to go you can always hire an agency to help you out. They aren’t always as expensive as you think.
If you can follow these 5 crucial elements of a small business marketing plan you’ll be well on your way to small business success.