It can be difficult to know where to begin when it comes to developing a marketing plan for your small business.
Many small businesses struggle to afford to employ a dedicated marketing manager, assistant, or team, leaving marketing activities up to other team members. And, with so many other things to contend with, it’s easy to see why this aspect of your business can often take a back seat. After all, there are only 24 hours in a day, right?
But marketing is absolutely crucial if you want to grow, expand, and promote your business. It’s essential if you want to stay visible to your target audience and increase sales.
The good news is that there is a solution. With some careful planning, plenty of focus and a little guidance, you can take control of your marketing.
It’s a lot more straightforward than you might think, and there’s certainly nothing to feel overwhelmed or concerned about. To get started, all you need is a simple marketing plan that will help to keep you focussed and on track, taking into account your resources (time, money, people) and organising your time. This handy little plan will act as your guide for promoting and growing your business successfully.
What is a marketing plan exactly?
A marketing plan is a living document that helps businesses to develop their products and services in line with the needs and expectations of their target audience.
A marketing plan is essentially your guide to promoting and growing your business, answering key questions such:
- How will you position your company in the market?
- How will you differentiate yourself from your competitors
- How will you reach your customers?
- What are your goals?
- Who is your audience?
And so on.
A good marketing plan for your small business will also align your marketing strategy with your overall business strategy and ensure that your marketing activity is strategic and valuable.
Why do I need a marketing plan?
We’ve all heard that age old saying, ‘if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail’, right? Well it definitely applies to marketing! Stepping back and taking time to write a marketing plan for your small business is the best thing you can do to help your business grow and thrive.
It will allow you to focus your efforts, describe your ideal client, attract your target audience, identify what makes you different, keep you on track for reaching your goals, help you define your strategies, and outline what activities you should use.
If you haven’t got a marketing plan, you’re not only setting yourself up to fail, but you also risk wasting time and money. This is particularly important for small businesses that don’t necessarily have the money, time, or resources to waste.
All small businesses should have a marketing plan for a number of reasons, including:
- It will keep you focused on your goals
- It will help you to budget
- It will allow you to establish and monitor timelines and integrate long term planning with short term implementation
- It will enable you to measure results and successes
- It will help you to make clearer business decisions
Want to find out more? The Little Marketing Company can help you with your marketing – get in touch and let us take you through how to complete a marketing plan for your small business. Alternatively, ask us about signing up for our Marketing Planning Masterclass