Most small business owners and entrepreneurs, online or offline, chose not to plan. Planning sounds difficult, time-consuming, and downright boring. After all, running a business consumes all of the daylight hours and most of the night as well - there is no time for planning. Although this point about "no time for planning" has a lot of truth to it, the risk of flying blind is too great to leave to chance. While your competition would like its activities to generate a return, your written plan turns your marketing into a planned investment rather than a hopeful risk.
Creating a marketing plan can be done relatively quickly and provides for a clear direction for your business.
The seven basic steps include:
*Define the purpose of your marketing.
*State the benefits of your product or service.
*Select your target audience.
*Describe your niche.
*Identify the marketing tools you will use.
*Articulate your identity.
*Create your budget.
The purpose of your marketing defines what you will use to measure the success of your marketing efforts. It is usually a measurable item such as the number of new clients in the next three months, or the number of new business leads generated. When you assign specific numbers to your marketing program, you have the ability to see if what you thought would be a good idea really is a good idea - in other words, "How effective was your marketing program?"
When stating the benefits of your products or services, be sure to focus on benefits that your target audience will experience. Many companies confuse features with benefits. Features are inherent in your product or service. Benefits are what the buyer gets from your products or services. Your bookstore may be open 24 hours (feature), while the buyer sees convenience (feature) that motivates them to be your customer.
Planning is all about anticipating future events and defining a direction for your company. A good plan is easy to understand, clearly links objectives to strategies, is specific and measurable, and has flexibility. As pointed out earlier, an effective yet brief plan can be written in just seven sentences. Using this approach, planning is straightforward and relatively quick.
About The Author
Steven Boaze, Chairman, is The Owner of Boaze.com Corporate Web Solutions Which houses Web Development services. Steven is also the author of two successful Books along with numerous articles on Marketing and Advertising published by Boaze Publishing.
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