Creating A Marketing Plan For Your Business
– Part I
Some people see creating a marketing plan for their business as a necessary evil. It’s time consuming. It’s hard for you, the small business owner, to devote that time. Even when you do create one, the plan quickly becomes irrelevant the more that time passes without implementing it. So why make one, right?
In reality, creating a marketing plan is really an opportunity. It can also be a welcome distraction to get your mind off of the daily challenges you face to focus on the growth of your business.
This is the first part of a series of articles on how to create a successful marketing plan for your business.
Why Create a Marketing Plan?
Having a plan in place for the development of your business has many benefits. Below are some (not all) reasons why a marketing plan is important:
- It helps you organize the operation your business
- It helps you avoid costly mistakes
- It helps you create consistent relationships with your customers
- It helps you figure out the competitive advantages of your business
- It helps you strategize the future of your business
- It helps you understand what support you actually need
As a business owner, I’m sure that these items are all very valuable to you. The health and future of your business depends on it.
Before You Begin
With anything in business, there will challenges and creating your marketing plan will be no different. Think about these challenges to overcome before developing your plan:
- Too much analysis and no action – don’t begin with the details; end with them
- Possession of the necessary skills and technology – be honest with yourself on your abilities
- The political environment of your business – what personalities do you need to overcome?
- Money and time – Be reasonable and understand this is an investment in your business
- The ability to challenge current ideas – can you think outside the box?
- Where does the culture of the business come from – internally or externally?
It’s best to understand what’s ahead of you to be properly prepared. Wherever you need help, seek it out. A marketing company can help you with the process or assume certain functions in your overall plan where necessary.
Why is Planning So Important?
As you work through your plan, the planning process may turn out to be more important than what you eventually come up with. How so?
Planning requires you to put aside time to think. It’s important to figure out how the business has developed so far and what the business looks like today. You need to create goals. Communicate those goals with everyone involved. Devise methods for measuring them. And finally, decide how to correct problems along the way when they’re not being achieved.
Though not everything will seem positive at the time, the process is important! It’s a lot to think about, but don’t worry. Once you understand the process of creating a marketing plan, following the necessary steps can actually feel quite rewarding. In the next article in this series, I will discuss the first step in the process. “Where are we now?”
Do you have questions about this article, your business or marketing plan? We’d love to help. Yes, we do marketing plans, and we can help you structure yours properly, and explore questions you may not know you need to ask. Please call us any time at 508-754-3643.