Often, small business owners believe the business plan and marketing plan are one and the same. THEY ARE NOT! If you have a comprehensive business plan, there should be a place for marketing, but it is usually very brief and does not detail the strategies and tactics. You must also have a comprehensive marketing plan. It is wonderful starting a business, but if no one is aware your business exists – guess what? – it won’t exist for very long…
Now after reading this, many of you will probably do an internet search or go to your local library/book store to find some information on marketing plans. Every how-to book or internet search is going to have a different take on the essential elements of a marketing plan.
Frankly, your marketing plan will depend on several factors: your business industry, company size, target audience, goals/objectives, and budget. Once the plan is complete, it should provide you with a clear direction for your marketing efforts. Keep in mind, your marketing plan can change from year to year or even per project/program. You can create a marketing plan for your business overall or for a specific program you are working on within your business. Most important, you should stick with your plan as written for future analysis and to understand what works and what doesn’t work. It is not wise to jump off the plan and do other than what is in your plan. You will get off track, lose sight of your objectives and possibly lose a lot of money.
Here are some things you want to consider when creating a marketing plan:
- Your marketplace and where your business stands
- Business strengths and weaknesses
- Business objectives
- Strategies and tactics you want to implement
- Budget (how much you are willing to spend to implement the strategies and tactics)
I would not recommend you doing this alone. You should consultant a professional and let them work with you on your plan to make sure you are creating a strategy that is cost effective and in line with your business goals.
Let us help you design a plan that is right for your business
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