Drawing Up A Successful Small Business Marketing Plan

Every small business owner dreams of drawing up a good marketing plan, implementing it and seeing revenue increase. It is worth taking a look at the elements of a strategically relevant plan that is detailed enough for the business person to assess the suitability of a large number of available marketing tactics appropriate to the business concerned. There are seven key areas involved when it comes to creating a strong and efficient marketing plan for your business.

1. Vision. There has to be a marketing vision that mirrors the overall business vision. So for instance if you marketing vision is to expand your market into previously untapped markets but your business vision is to carry on doing the same old thing, the two are not matched. This will weaken your marketing efforts and produce negligible results.

2. Awareness. For your marketing efforts be effective you have to comprehend and accept the particular needs, concerns and assumptions of your target audience. If you neglect to do so the result will be poor communications and reduced return on investment.

3. Competition. It is vital to analyze your competitors in the marketplace whether direct, indirect or variable. Your direct competitors are self explanatory e.g. shoe shops compete directly with other shoe shops. Your indirect competitors compete for the same budget in the same general area e.g. movie theatres compete with restaurant for family entertainment spending. Variable competition refers to external factors that could disrupt your business e.g. a bridge is washed away in a flood preventing customers from reaching your offices.

4. Message. It is important to work out the communications element, i.e. the basic message, you want to get across to your audience. An inappropriate message could do your marketing campaign more harm than good. It could even benefit your competitors.

5. Media. Once you have clarity about your marketing message it is time to decide how precisely the target market is to be reached. Try to eliminate personal preferences from the mix. Just because you like SMS campaigns does not necessarily mean it is appropriate for your business or your target audience. Endeavour to use a wide selection of media.

6. Analysis. Determine how you are going to test, measure and tweak your marketing efforts in the short and long term. Build these methods into your marketing plan. This is very important. I would go so far as to say that you should eliminate any media where your efforts cannot be measured precisely. If your intention is to gain new markets then you must make sure that the success of this plan is measurable. This is the only way you will be evaluate and adjust your marketing campaign as required.

7. Funnels. These are marketing systems whereby you should define the process whereby your target audience is addressed, your prospects garnered, how they will be informed and how they will eventually become customers. By designing your funnel you will be able to streamline the process and instill continuity for staff and customers alike.

Small Business Marketing – An Essential Step In Success

Regardless of the size, a small business must focus on marketing, just like any business of a substantial size. Unlike big businesses, small businesses have a lot of factors that make marketing more difficult. Primarily, these efforts are hindered by budgets and resources.

A marketing strategy is a step-by-step process that examines a business situation or environment. The plan identifies a target client/market, key competition, challenges and opportunities in the market.

Marketing is such an important part of the business process. It’s what brings consumers and products together in a market place.

When you have a well thought out plan in place, you generate more sales because you capture the attention of the market quickly. Small business marketing often has to be especially innovative to overcome the challenges of the limited resources. Your marketing plan forms the foundation for your business decision making, and acts a reference point for making decisions about direction changes. Marketing plans allow you to work towards your predetermined goal.

Primarily, this type of marketing focuses on developing a product or brand identity. A good marketing plan begins with understanding your company’s unique selling position in the marketing place. What is it that makes your products or services unique? Your brand incorporates that unique selling position and establishes an impression of your company in the mind of the target customer.

Many small businesses choose to use some simple methods of marketing their products and brand to their clients. Some methods of marketing include development of a web site, direct mailing efforts such as postcards or brochures, or email marketing campaigns, including newsletters. These marketing efforts are very cost effective – they allow you to contact clients at very little cost and begin the steps of developing brand recognition.

One of the advantages a small business has is flexibility. Although a small company doesn’t have an unlimited amount of money to invest in marketing, they have the advantage of being able to make decisions quickly. If a marketing strategy isn’t working, these businesses can quickly change direction and respond to the needs of a changing market place. Small businesses do have some advantages over the giants – how many can change their marketing strategy within a week?

Marketing for a small business is something that has to be consistently done, almost on a daily basis. You can easily implement a number of marketing tools, such as daily emails, blogs to your website, flyers on windshields or door hangers, etc.

One option a business has is to partner with another business and stretch marketing. Look for a small business that offers a supporting product or service and try to partner with them. Working in partnership with another company gives you flexibility to share expenses, such as graphic designers, printers, web site designers, etc. By sharing resources and times, you may stretch your budget much farther.

Small business marketing is necessary for success. In many cases, your best marketing tool is word of mouth – from satisfied clients. Marketing is essential part of any small business success. Whether you focus your time on developing a marketing plan yourself, or use the advice of experienced professionals, marketing will help establish your company brand and image.

Direct Sales and Network Marketing With Social Media

Social media and networking sites like Facebook and Twitter have dramatically influenced online home business network marketing and direct sales. These powerful and dynamic outlets have added new, cost free ways to reach potential customers and to capitalize on expanded listings of your products, business and opportunities. Promoting, network marketing and direct sales, using social media sites, can prove to be very effective, no cost techniques to improve the visibility and recognition of your business, products and opportunities.

Potential customers are now using these social media and social networking sites to conduct business, opportunity and product research; to locate experienced references and to pursue first hand consumer recommendations. This translates into an incredible opportunity for reputable business owners to get unlimited exposure.

Your best bet, as a retailer, wholesaler or seller, is to develop a relationship with your potential customer, first. That is what these social media sites are all about. Developing relationships. I am not suggesting that you need to find a new best friend. But, a recognizable friendship will benefit you, big time, when it comes time for your sales pitch. Avoid blanketing your new acquaintance with impersonal sales pitches, in the beginning. Consumers do not make purchases from faceless companies or factories. People make purchases from other people. Their purchases are based on emotions and not on practicality. So, if you have already developed a friendly relationship with your potential customer, and they like you personally – when it comes time to make a purchase, it will be more likely to happen through you.

Remember, strategically network and develop friendships with new potential customers first, then market products and work from home business opportunities to them, later on. I Hope this brief article helps. Looking forward to connecting with you.