Marketing Plans for Small Business: All the Steps You Need to Know

If you own a small business, you know how big of a part marketing plays into the overall success of a company. Unfortunately though, with the minimal budget and limited staff that often comes with a small business, many find it hard to really make waves with traditional marketing tactics. It doesn’t have to be this way. It is possible to create a unique, customized marketing plan just for your business, one that meets your budget, fits your needs, and delivers real results.

 

So what goes into marketing plans for small business? Where do you begin? Follow our quick guide to creating killer marketing plans for small business.

 

Step 1: Analyze the market and your customers.

The first thing you have to do when creating marketing plans for small business is take a look at the market around you. Who are your current competitors? How many products and services are out there like yours? What makes your product different? Take a look at what’s currently trending in the marketplace and see how you fit in.  Are you selling something that’s in demand? Do you offer products or services that meet a specific need? Overall, you want to determine where your company and its products fall into today’s marketplace.

 

You’ll also need to define your target customers. Who exactly are you marketing your company to? What do they like, dislike, and need? What is popular with them right now? You’ll want to pay specific attention to their buying habits, too. Do they shop primarily online? At bargain stores? Through catalogs? This will help you better define how and where your marketing can reach them.

 

Step 2: Set your budget and your goals.

Next, you’ll need to define your marketing goals and outline a budget.  What are you looking to accomplish with this marketing plan? Be as specific as possible, such as: to increase profits by $10,000, to gain 1,000 new customers in the next year, or to sell 1,500 products to a new target demographic. The more specific you are, the better you can tailor your marketing tactics to your needs. Plus, it will make measuring the success of your marketing much easier later on down the line.

 

You should also set a specific budget for your marketing plan. How much can you spend this year? If possible, break it down by month. You don’t want to get to December and have no budget left. Overall, in marketing plans for small business, the more specific you are, the better.

 

Step 3: Create a strategy.

Now it’s time to strategize. What methods can you use to market your products and services to the target customer you defined earlier? What forms of promotion, advertising, and communication would be effective? Consider what would most appeal to your customers, what would best suit your brand and your company’s vision, and what would be the most cost-effective. Remember, you already set a budget, so don’t strategize for some multi-million dollar advertising campaign if you don’t expect to have the funds for it.

 

Step 4: Devise a plan of action.

Here, you’ll need to outline the specific course of action you’ll take to execute your strategy. Create a step-by-step guide that details exactly what marketing action is taken and when it will occur. Break it down by month, if possible. This allows you not only to map out a long-term plan, but it also ensures you can more easily stick to your budget and track your spending.

 

Step 5: Track your performance.

The real key to creating great marketing plans for small business is to track them. In truth, there’s no way to know if your marketing plan is actually effective unless you track its performance. Each month, check to see if you’re making headway on your overall goals. Have sales increased? Have you gotten new customers? Compare your returns against the goals and budget you set in step 2, and do some forecasting. Are you on track to achieve them? Are you still on or under budget? If you find yourself getting off track, you can take this time to regroup, make some revisions, and get your campaign back on the route to success.

 

Want to learn more about marketing plans for small business? Need help creating one? Contact the Connell Curtis Group today at 210-414-9724.

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