Attempting to run a business without a marketing plan, is a lot like planning a two thousand mile road trip without consulting a map. A marketing plan doesn’t have to be a fifty-page report in a leather binder, but it does have to have certain key elements.
Every situation is different, but all marketing plans must start with gathering the following information.
1. Target Market – What type of people will likely buy the product?
2. Competition – Who else sells products similar to yours?
3. Pricing Your Product – Must be competitive yet profitable
4. Rating Your Quality – Is your product of higher or lower quality than the competition?
5. Possible Promotional and Advertising Venues – TV ads, flyers, internet, etc. List them all and then weed out what you don’t want.
6. Advertising Budget – How much can you spend on promoting your business?
Consult an Expert
The next step is to enlist the assistance of a small business consultant who specializes in small business marketing. It is important to have answers to a few of the basic questions above before you involve an outside party. Especially considering how much you want to spend, and how you wish to present your product. The consultant will be more expert at promoting, but you are the expert on your product.
Once this information is gathered, the small business consultant will come up with a plan which reaches your target market, using available media and staying within your budget. They may advise on pricing, but in the end, the business owner knows their bottom line better than anyone. If you can’t drop the price to meet the competition, you have to make it clear your product is of superior quality.
The small business marketing specialist will work with you to iron out the details and come up with a plan tailored to fit your situation and business. Marketing your product is one of the most important and rewarding aspects of the business. Properly marketing your business can lead to a steady growth of clientele, which is well worth the investment.