A marketing plan is a must for any small business. There are as many ways to market a business as there are types of businesses; a well-crafted marketing plan helps you identify opportunities and make sure you’re using marketing tactics and strategies that will help you reach your business goals. Do the prep work before you take action and you’ll find the actions and path much easier once you start.
In Entrepreneur.com’s article The Ingredients of a Marketing Plan, they endorse a careful analysis of the market before writing a marketing plan. This analysis would include an identification of potential threats and opportunities, as well as a market situation overview. This should give you an understanding of the dollar size of your markets, your total sales territory, your competition, and your historical sales trends.
Armed with this information, you can then hone in on your target market. The Small Business Administration, notes in Developing a Marketing Plan, that understanding your target market is a vital part of your marketing plan. If you’re going to reach out to customers, you should know as much as you can about their preferences, habits, likes, and what they think about your business. When you know who and where they are, then you can reach out to them.
Finally, you have to plan for and understand the sales cycle of your business and how it will affect your timeline. In 5 Steps To a Small Business Marketing Plan, the authors note how important is it to understand how much time you’ll have to convert a customer, and how long a customer takes to make a decision. This can determine exactly what kind of marketing you should be doing.
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