small business marketing and how to create a marketing plan
You will know small business marketing and how to create a marketing plan with mistakes. marketing goals,marketing goals,customer....
You should be know small business marketing Without mistakes and how to create a your first marketing plan
so ask yourself this question before reading:
'Where you are to where you want to be What do you want '
Than In this post, you will know many important things about
- Where you are now to where you want to be
- what do you want
- typical small business marketing mistakes
- Creating your marketing plan.
1)Where you are now to where you want to be
Maybe you are wondering if there is a secret to making your marketing work; if there is a special system... a key to success...
Imagine if I told you that the answers you are looking for are inside your own mind and all you really need is the right system, the right questions and the right guidance to enable you to unlock them.
As a successful marketing consultant and business coach I have been amazed by the people I have worked with over the years and how much they have found they already know when stimulated by the right set of questions.
I have written this book to enable more people than I can personally see to benefit from the value of a great marketing idea, the right questions to ask themselves and the prompt for the first vital step they need to take.
This simple process begins with where you are right now with your business, product or service and takes you to exactly where you want to be. Every step you take will add a vital piece to your ultimate marketing plan of action. At the end of the process you will have a marketing plan that you have created yourself. You will know which marketing strategies are going to offer your particular business the greatest leverage and you will know exactly what you need to do to apply them.
Most of all I hope that reading this will provide you with new inspiration and stimulate a new active approach to the successful marketing of your business.
2) what do you want ?
Describe this in all its glory: your business, your work, your lifestyle, your relationships, the way you live your business life, the money you are earning, how you are spending it, what you are doing with your spare time - really let yourself dream.
Write it down and date it.
- Where do you want to be 12 months from now?
- Where do you want to be three years from now?
- What about five years?
Now imagine yourself five years on, having achieved what you want and looking back
on yourself today; ask yourself this important question:
- What were the most important things you did that enabled you to get where you wanted to be?
Did these questions make you ‘think’? Notice how easy it is to shift your mind to a better place when you ask yourself the right question. You may be working hard in your business right now and haven’t had time to really ‘think’ about how you could be growing and developing your business. It might take all your energy just to keep going and get what needs to be done, done.
Questions challenge your thinking, they challenge what you are doing and how you are doing it, they stimulate and most importantly they help you to change things.
3)Typical small business marketing mistakes:
Making mistakes is part of the learning process. Recognizing them is the first important step. Madness has been described as continuing to do the same thing whilst desiring a different result. This is like running an advert week after week in your local publication that never provides a response or reaction and doing nothing about it, whilst at the same time hoping to get a result. There are many examples like this and we are probably all guilty of some of them.
Use the following set of indicators to raise your own awareness of the mistakes you may be making.
- No plan - haphazard activities.
- Jumping from one failed idea to another without stopping to think.
- Your marketing plan on a ‘post it’ note or in your head.
- UN-targeted attempts to generate sales.
- Not really knowing what works and what doesn’t to make informed decisions.
- Trying to do too much too quickly and making mistakes.
- Wasting money, time and effort repeating what doesn’t work.
- Poor decisions about what to invest in - believing the sales person.
- No time to do it - suffering from feast and famine revenue cycles.
- Mixed messages with no coherent theme.
- Too busy doing business to consider how to develop business.
- Over complicating marketing activities and messages.
- Believing that you don’t have any marketing skills.
- Struggling with the ‘blank paper’ syndrome.
- Thinking that marketing is complicated - and avoiding doing it.
- Relying on only one or two methods of generating business.
- Not keeping good record of your customers’ contact details.
- Not really being able to explain why someone should buy from you.
- Hoping and praying that business will come to you.
- Out-dated or weak brand identity.
If you have mentally ticked ‘yes’ that is me in any of the above you are being honest with yourself. We have all been there. You learn by first getting some awareness of what is not working. It is only then that you can start to move forward
4) Creating your marketing plan:
What is a marketing plan?
A marketing plan is your guide to exactly how you are going to action your business marketing. It is the ultimate outcome of your thinking and decision making. It is your commitment on paper, your route to success.
Why is it important?
It is common practice among many small business owners to spend a lot of time doing as opposed to planning. You may have a plan in your head that you have not yet committed to paper. Getting out there and making things happen is vital to the success of any small business marketing; it is important, however, that they are the right things. You can spend a lot of time and waste a lot of energy doing things the wrong way or simply just doing the wrong things. A simple marketing plan that you can create yourself using the ideas in this book will keep your business marketing on the right track.
Your challenge is to take the following eight step plan with their accompanying think marketing questions and create.
Here are your eight steps to a successful plan:
Each step contains a set of questions that you will need to be able to answer to complete your plan.
Step 1 - Understanding your market and your competition
- What is the marketplace within which you are operating?
- What is happening within that marketplace?
- How is the market moving?
- What are the trends?
- What are the hot issues?
- What is the industry press saying?
- Who do you consider a competitor?
- What are they selling?
- How do they position themselves?
- What is their unique selling proposition?
- What is their competitive edge?
- How much do they charge?
- What marketing literature do they use - what is it like?
- Where are their weaknesses?
- What is their website like?
- What are they not offering that you could?
Step 2- Understanding your customer
Your target customer
- Who is your target customer?
- What are some of the problems your target customer has?
- What is really hot on their agenda right now?
- What is being talked about a lot in the industry press?
- Where is there a ‘gap’ in the market you are in?
- What would you most like to find out from your target customer?
- What questions could you ask them to enable you to uncover their problems and desires?
- How are potential buyers currently buying what you are selling?
- What are their buying criteria?
- Where do they go to find out what is available?
- When do they tend to buy?
- What do they tend to respond to?
- What problems do they have?
- What solutions are they looking for?
Step 3 - Positioning your business
- What are your strengths and skills?
- Describe your best and most enjoyable customers to work with.
- What are your broad areas of business and expertise?
- What do you know about the lives and challenges of your customers?
- Describe a number of potential niche customer groups.
- What are these niche groups’ problems?
- What could you sell them that would solve their problems?
- How are you positioning this business?
- What are you selling?
Step 4 - Developing your marketing message
- What is your brand?
- What is your USP?
- What is your strap-line?
- What are your marketing slogans?
Step 6 - Setting your direction and your marketing goals
- What is your vision for your business?
- What do you want to achieve with your marketing?
- What are your specific and measurable goals for each type of marketing you plan to do?
- Can you make each goal SMART - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time bound?
- What are the priorities?
- What are your timescales for the achievement of your goals?
Step 6 - Determining your marketing methods
- What marketing methods do you know that your successful competitors use?
- What has worked for you in the past? What has been your return on investment (ROI)?
- What has not worked?
- What can you do to raise your prof in the marketplace?
- Which methods can you use to attract new customers?
- What potential value do the following marketing methods have for your business?
PR, radio,TV vehicle, bus, posters, billboards, newspapers and magazines advertising, internet, direct mail, sales letters, direct sales, telephone marketing, window displays, personal contact, referrals, host relationships and joint ventures
- What is most likely to work best for you?
Step 7 - Developing your budget
- Which marketing methods have you chosen to implement?
- What is it going to cost to use your chosen marketing methods?
- What resources are going to be required to implement these methods?
- What will you need to invest in each segment to achieve your goals?
- What return would you expect?
- How will you measure the return on your investment?
Step 8 - Planning your strategy
- How are you going to progress each element of your plan?
- What needs setting up?
- What are the priorities?
- What specific practical actions need to betaken to make it happen? By whom and by when?
- What are the steps?
- What are the milestones and deadlines?
- How will you monitor, evaluate and review your strategy?
Business description - who are you and what do you do
Market - your industry, broad area of business operation
Competition - who they are, what they offer, strengths and weaknesses
Target customer group(s) - who you are aiming at
Target market area(s) - the area(s) you want your business to come from
Niche description - your target specialist area and business positioning
Marketing message - your brand, strap-line,
Marketing goals and objectives - what you want to achieve
Marketing methods - the methods you have chosen to use
The budget - the amount you commit to spending
The strategy - how you are going to do this and calendar of actions
fail to plan - plan to fail