It constantly amazes me how much time and money small businesses waste on marketing. Time and again you will find a small business owner spending time and/or money on the latest gizmo or fad without any idea of how it will benefit the business - in other words the decision is a straight thumbsuck. Very often it's a case of the business surviving despite the marketing!
You need to realise that your small business is impacted, either positively or negatively, by your marketing. This marketing might be the result of a conscious decision on your part, such as deciding to sponsor a golf day, or it could happen by default e. g. you forget to attend the AGM of your local business association.
Either way, you have sent a message to your potential clients about your business.
The trick then is to ensure that all your marketing actions, and inactions, are designed to benefit your business. Enter the one small business marketing tool you cannot do without: The humble Marketing Plan.
Before you yawn and reach for the TV guide, let's briefly consider how this business tool can benefit your small business.
1) A properly constructed and considered marketing plan defines what your target market is. It tells you who you should be targetting with your marketing efforts. If you know that, then you are not going to spend time and money on marketing efforts that aren't going to reach your target market. Result: Marketing Plan 1, Thumbsuck 0.
2) A marketing plan gives you control. You know ahead of time what, where and how you are going to do your marketing. This allows for better allocation and control of budgets and human resources. Result: Marketing Plan 2, Thumbsuck 0.
3) A marketing plan ensures that feedback mechanisms and measurables are in place so that you can quantify the results of your marketing efforts and make improvements for the next time. Result: Marketing Plan 3, Thumbsuck 0.
I hope you are beginning to get the picture. A Marketing Plan is the critical small business marketing tool that you can't do without if you are going to grow your business successfully. All other marketing tools and marketing activities are implemented in terms of the marketing plan. Final score: Marketing Plan 4, Thumbsuck 0!
Discover Le Doc's secret formula for writing a marketing plan that will ensure that all your marketing efforts work for you, and not against you!