Tuesday, June 28, 2011

How to Build a Sound Marketing Plan for Your Small Business

www.AllBusiness.com is a great site to find marketing (and other ideas). Listed below is a great article on marketing...and I can't stress enough that you NEED to market! You can't just sit in your home office and think that people are going to "find" you on the Internet of that your favorite RE is going to send you all his clients. You need to do the work! Get started!


How to Build a Sound Marketing Plan for Your Small Business

Not unlike a business plan, a marketing plan can play an important role in the success of your small business. While the plan is primarily for your own purposes, it should include:

*Your products and/or services
*Your demographic audience
*Methods of selling
*Your budget
*Your geographic market
*Your competition and your competitive edge
*An overview of the marketing tools available: Media outlets, PR possibilities, community activities, conferences, potential speaking engagements, and so on.

The final objective of your marketing plan is to define who you are trying to reach, what you are selling, how you will reach this audience, and how much it will cost to do. You will then devise a means of communicating your message to your audience.

Just as you do in your business plan, you will need to pull the many pieces together to demonstrate how you will reach your target audience. For example, if your plan is to increase the sale of your brand of healthy popcorn to a teen market, you might show how you will distribute samples at school activities, sponsor a series of events for teens, and propose articles on the health benefits of your popcorn to teen-oriented magazines and Web sites.

Within your marketing plan show how you will use diverse methods to get your message across, including different forms of media, product samples, sponsorship and so on. Also, maintain a level of marketing at all times. During slower seasons you may just want to keep your brand in front of your audience, while in busier seasons you will need a more aggressive approach. Define such a strategy in your plan.

As a small business, you can make a big impact by seeking out media that appeal to your niche market. Keep in mind that marketing is a long-term effort and slow and steady typically wins the race — or in this case, the customers.

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