Developing a marketing plan for your business requires time and effort. It is not something that can be done without concentration and proper preparation. Few business owners truly understand what they need to do in order to develop a marketing plan that will work.
Following are five simple steps that can help business owners develop effective plans that will work consistently over time. Taking the time to complete these steps can be the deciding factor between success and failure.
First, business owners need to set aside time dedicated solely to the task of marketing their business. Much like a budget, this plan will need to be attended to and monitored. Having set hours to work on marketing allows business owners the opportunity to work regularly on their marketing. Set aside five to ten hours a week for marketing and put it on the calendar. It is best to work in chunks of time such as two or three hours rather than scheduling an hour a day.
Second, business owners need to define their goals. Without goals there is no way to determine if marketing efforts are successful or not.
Third, decide on a budget. How much money is available to dedicate to marketing efforts will be a large factor in determining what can and cannot be done. Don’t worry if there are little to no funds available to support marketing efforts. The internet has created an environment where it is possible to advertise business products and services for free.
Fourth, business owners will research marketing activities that are specific to your industry and fit within the allocated budget. Developing an idea sheet along with approximate costs for each activity during the research process is a great way to keep track of your discoveries.
Fifth, develop a weekly marketing plan. The marketing plan should include marketing activities to be done as well as time to track the results of all marketing efforts. Tracking the results of your marketing efforts is critical to understanding which activities are successfully promoting your business and which ones are not working.