Small Business Marketing: Are You Planning to Fail?

Debbie LaChusa

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There's a saying that goes “If you fail to plan, you're planning to fail. "

Are You Unintentially Planning to Fail?

I realize no small business owner has the intention of failing, but that's just what many do every day when they launch their small business without a marketing plan.

As a marketing coach and trainer, I see it constantly. People who are so excited about opening their own business. They're working hard. They're dedicated. They have a great product or service, and a small handful of clients who love them.

But They're Missing One Key Ingredient

An ingredient that could very likely determine their success or failure.

They don't have a marketing plan. They're out there “winging it" every day. Oh sure, they're marketing. They're doing a little bit of marketing over here, and a little more over there.

But what's guiding that marketing? What are they trying to achieve? Of course they're trying to get more clients or make more sales. But without a plan they're typically just working toward short-term goals.

Short-Term Goals Won't Sustain Your Business Long-Term

If they need more clients or sales this month so they can cover expenses, they focus on getting those immediate clients or sales. But they're not doing anything to ensure the long-term success of their business.

According to Entrepreneur Magazine, 80% of all new businesses fail within the first five years.

In “The E-Myth Revisited" by Michael Gerber, he talks about a common mistake made by most small business owners: working IN their business instead of ON their business.

Are You Working IN Your Business Instead of ON It?

Without a plan you are working IN your business. You get up everyday and do what needs to be done to make today's clients happy, to fulfill today's sales orders and if you have time you spend a little time trying to get tomorrow's new clients.

But, if you choose to do as Michael Gerber recommends and work ON your business, one of the first things you should do is create a marketing plan.

Identify what you want to achieve with your business in the next year, then set some goals and create a plan to achieve those goals.

When you have a marketing plan, you have a step-by-step map to reaching your goals. And when you take the time to work on your plan as well as work IN your business you are focusing on creating long-term success while you're servicing the daily needs of your business and clients.

Having a plan is the only way I know to maintain your focus on long-term success and know what daily steps you need to take to achieve that success.

A Marketing Plan Does Not Have To Be A Big, Thick Document

If you don't have a marketing plan, now's a great time to create one. And if you're concerned your plan needs to be a document as thick as the Bible, let me put you at ease. It absolutely does NOT need to be. Your plan may only be a couple of pages.

The key is to make sure it addressed your goals and a step by step plan to achieve them.

(C) Copyright 2005 Debbie LaChusa

Debbie LaChusa created The 10stepmarketing System to make marketing your own business as simple as answering 10 questions. Learn more about this unique, step-by-step system and get a free 10-week Marketing E-Course when you subscribe to the free, weekly 10stepmarketing Ezine at


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