1. What is your Marketing Strategy? Your marketing plan must support your business goals how will you make it does? Start your marketing strategy by reviewing your business goals and objectives. Concentrate on what you want the plan to accomplish and leave the how it does it to the rest of the plan.
2. Do you have a Mission Statement? Define what your company wants to accomplish and why. Your mission statement is the foundation of the entire marketing plan. Even though it may not be used directly in advertising or other activities it should help you stay focused on your business objectives as you make every marketing decision.
3. Do you have a Target Market? You must know exactly who you want to reach with your marketing activities. It’s helpful to write up a description of the person or business that you think is your “perfect customer.” This helps you identify important characteristics about them, and helps you fine tune your marketing messaging.
4. Who are your Competitors? How many companies are you up against, and where do you rank in the market’s eyes? You have to know who is out there selling in your market and what they are doing right and wrong. Find things your company can do better and highlight these in your marketing plan.
5. What is your Unique Selling Proposition? What makes your company unique? After analyzing the competition you should exactly what sets you apart. Why makes your company and its products or services the most valuable in your marketplace. A good unique selling proposition is a statement that concisely explains why your target customers should choose you over the competition.
After you have the answers to these five questions you are half way to an effective marketing plan for your small business. Don’t stop now though. Read part two of this guide to complete your marketing plan and start really growing your business.