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Marketing plan: A key tool

Marketing plan: A key tool for small businesses

Marketing plan: A key tool for small businesses

A marketing plan is one of those strategic documents you won’t want to be without, even though you can conduct business without one. No one is going to refuse to do business with you if you don’t have a plan to market your business, but having one can help you save time, effort and money. It can also help you understand your target market and how to reach them.

What is a marketing plan?

A marketing plan is a document that outlines your strategy for reaching out to new and existing customers. A plan is also useful when you’re thinking about opening up new markets or offering new products or services.

Usually, a marketing plan contains specific goals, and is time-limited. Often, it covers no more than one year, but it could be shorter or longer, depending upon your goals.

Your marketing budget is an integral part of your plan to market your business, but the budget poses a “chicken-and-egg” question for your business. Is your plan governed by your budget, or is your budget governed by your plan? Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter whether your plan controls your budget or your budget controls your plan, but in either case, having a plan can help you set your budget, and knowing how much you can spend in a given period of time can also help you establish realistic marketing goals.

Your marketing plan should also contain some way to measure its impact on your marketing goals. How effective is your advertising, and how do you know it’s working? How are your customers reacting to your products and services? What feedback have they provided, and does their input require you to make changes to your plan? Most importantly, are you closer to reaching your marketing goals?

If you’ve never written a marketing plan before, a writer can help you organize your thoughts and clarify your marketing strategy. If you’d like more information about creating a marketing plan for your business, please contact me at eileen@juliesocean.com or call me at (734) 961-0408.

Photo Credit: Esther Groen, via FreeImages.com