Relying on trial and error is one of the biggest mistakes that a small business owner can make. Especially when it comes to marketing. There is a false belief that randomly trying a variety of marketing strategies can lead to success. The truth is that successful marketing requires a plan. Most small businesses know that they should have a formal marketing plan but few actually utilize one effectively. By not adhering to a marketing plan resources are wasted and opportunities are lost.
The main purpose of a marketing plan is to identify opportunities, plan a strategy and take action. It’s a tool to compare where you are now against where you want to be in the future.
A marketing plan outlines all the important pieces needed to successfully and consistently market your business. It’s the groundwork that makes ideas a reality. It’s like a road trip – you need a plan to get to your destination. With a detailed marketing plan, you will know where you’re going and when. Here are eight good reasons to spend time planning.
A good marketing plan …
1. Helps direct your efforts and keeps you focused on targets and goals
2. Gives you control over your business and income (less anxiety)
3. Ensures a good return on investment by testing and measuring results
4. Helps the day-to-day operations of your business
5. Breaks tasks into steps that help you achieve your goals
6. Keeps everyone on the same page (if you have a team)
7. Reminds you that you’re running a business, not a hobby
It is also vital that you track all your marketing activities. Tracking will determine the plan you’re putting in place, how well the activities perform and costs involved for each activity. Remember, it takes time to implement and test all the tactics available today. Don’t try to use them all at one time, commit to a few and measure the results before trying another.
The eCourse that I just launched includes a workable marketing plan template. Check it out!
Marketing By Design eCourse
Written by Wendy