Content Marketing

Easy Small Business Marketing Planning Part 1

PART 1 – Getting a handle on the necessary-for-successs Marketing Plan

Every small business who is responsible for generating income must consider the marketing side of their business – ie. how they will find customers.

A lot of people go into business from being employed, where they excelled in their profession, but they may not have been responsible for gaining new clients.  So to suddenly be faced with the prospect of mapping this out and doing a “Marketing Plan”.  It can feel a little scary.

This is especially true when, for example, you download your local business help centre’s Marketing Planning template and it is 29 pages long and filled with some scary sections.  So to make it easier, here are some tips to get you started with your Marketing Plan.

Length

A Marketing Plan can be as long as you want.  It can be 50 pages or it can be 2 pages.  There are really no rules here, so whatever suits your style and business – go for it.

Who Should Contribute

There is an old stigma that a bunch of guys in suits, sit around the boardroom table, and discuss marketing strategy and planning.  Then once everything is decided, bits of the information get passed to everybody else in the company.

As a small business, I say, get everyone and anyone in the business to contribute, as much or as little as they want.  As a freelancer, it’s just you, so there is no escape.  But once you have employees it is so important they get a chance to participate and present feedback.  And discussing marketing strategy doesn’t need to be scary.  It can even be done over coffees.

Marketing of a businesses products and/ or services, doesn’t just come from management.  It comes from every single person in the business or representing the business.  So it’s important they understand how they fit in and how important their role is.

Done and dusted – or – work in progress?

The Marketing Plan is ALWAYS a draft.  In today’s everchanging business world, nothing is ever in concrete, especially in small business.  And once the first draft is completed, it needs to be kept in a handy location – electronically on the desktop, or physically pinned to a cork board on the wall.

The Marketing Plan needs to be read at least once a month, and needs to be continually modified when something works or doesn’t work.  Monitoring the results of your small business marketing is so important, and it shouldn’t be in a separate section, but part of every section.  Then updates of the Marketing Plan need to be communicated to everyone.

The Focus

The Marketing Plan just doesn’t exist to fill a gap in the Business Plan.  It exists to create a path to match your business strategy and meet your goals.

For example, most Marketing Strategy is based on increasing sales and working on competitive advantage.  It may also take into account (and should) – customer satisfaction.  Your strategy should form the basis of your plan, from which you can build on.

From the strategy, you create some marketing sub-goals.  These are goals you want to achieve as the result of your marketing efforts.  It’s probably best you have 2 or 3 goals, to keep things as specific as possible.

For example, you want to double your client base in 12 months, or you want to increase sales by 20%.  These goals are measurable, realistic, and can be tracked.

Stay Tuned – Part 2: The Guts of your Plan

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Marketing Manager, Content Strategist and Writer driving Engagement and ROI. On weekends I'm a Property Investor, Traveler & Coffee Snob

10 Comments

  • David

    Hi Fiona

    Like the commonsense opening esp the bit about the plan always being a draft which changes regularly to meet current circumstances (surely this must be the case for all commercial planning documents).

    Looking forward to the next instalment!

    Have a great day

    David

    • Fiona

      Hi David, Thanks for your comments. Yes I guess I didn’t think about it, but you’re right, all commercial planning documents, even business plans, should be changed and updated regularly, and not stuffed away in a filing cabinet. 🙂 Cheers

  • Terrie Wurzbacher

    Boy will I be staying tuned for part 2. I cringe at the words “marketing plan” and I know that I need to pay attention to what you’re writing because it’s obvious it’s good material. Thanks for being a part of this challenge and I’m looking forward to learning more about this!

    Terrie

    • Fiona

      Thanks Terrie, I’m glad you found my blog helpful. Are you part of the challenge too? I couldn’t really tell on your website…

    • Fiona

      Great question Rodney. Maybe I didn’t explain exactly what I mean. The Marketing Strategy is created from the main goals in your Business Plan, which is why the two plans usually exist together. Then you use the strategy, to create sub-goals, that only belong in marketing. I hope this makes sense 🙂

  • Melanie Kissell

    Fiona ~

    Definitely looking forward to the “Guts of your plan”.

    To put things in super simple perspective, it’s difficult to even traverse through a day without some kind of PLAN. You plan what time you’re going to get up in the morning, what you’re going to wear, what you’re going to eat for breakfast, what errands need to be run, what bills need to be paid, etc.

    So the same principle applies to developing a marketing plan. Without some kind of plan (even if it’s only 1 page), your efforts will be wishy-washy, willy-nilly and lead you around and around in circles with no chance for success.

    Been there, done that. 🙂

    Good stuff here!
    Melanie
    #blog30
    .-= Melanie Kissell´s last blog ..My Friend Terrie Has Sign-up-itis =-.

    • Fiona

      Yes Melanie, it seems we share the same understanding of “Marketing Planning”. Do you find that small business owners in general, view the Marketing Plan with intrepidation?