Why Your Small Business Needs a Professional Marketing Plan

Many small business owners know that they need to promote their businesses – in other words, they know they need to be doing marketing activities of some sort. Yet choosing the right mix of activities seems like an impossible task. Should they focus on building a new website? Running ads in the local newspaper? Sending out direct mail or email, or perhaps posting to social media?

Even if a business owner chooses a few activities to try, often they’re not sure when or how often to run those ads, send out the emails, or mail postcards. Understanding small business marketing and developing an action plan often feels overwhelming for a small business owner. Combine that overwhelm with time pressures and the limited budget of a typical small business and you suddenly understand why few actually have a written marketing plan in place.

What’s so important about having a written marketing plan in place? Why can’t you just sit down with your staff and come up with a few ideas, then go out and use them to promote your business?

You can certainly sit around the table and brainstorm ideas, but without a written plan, how many of those ideas will actually be carried through to completion? And if you do have several ideas you need to choose among for your activities, how do you sort and weigh them to understand which promotional idea can potentially yield the best return on investment? Who is going to actually create the promotion, make sure it is placed or mailed on time, and then follow up to count the responses to see whether or not it was worth it?

As you can see, there’s a lot to know and remember when you’re planning your small business marketing. That’s where a marketing plan and a professional marketing consultant can help.

A marketing plan created by a professional marketing consultant who knows and understands the unique challenges that your small business faces may focus on several key areas. These areas may include goal setting for your business, understanding the business and competitive environment, defining the products you’re selling and the messages to share about them, and then creating a marketing strategy and action plan (tactical plan or marketing mix) to direct your activities in a focused and measurable way.

I’ve seen some great marketing plans that were detailed and creative, but they sat on a shelf and gathered dust. Why? Because they weren’t focused on action! A marketing plan without an action plan and clearly defined tactical steps is like a scientific research report; rich with information but offering little practical value. Small businesses don’t need a research report – they need a focused, clear action plan.

There’s a balance between the background information that informs the action steps a small business should take and a tactical-only plan that focuses solely on the promotional methods. As a business owner, you have to know and understand the marketplace forces, your customers, what you’re selling and the advantages you have before you roll out any promotional campaigns. Yet most business owners focus solely on the promotional aspect because it makes them feel like they’re finally taking action and getting some marketing steps accomplished. Action without strategy, planning and forethought, however, can lead to missed opportunities and wasteful spending as you put money into marketing activities that may not reach your customers nor communicate the messages that will resonate with them. And marketing activities without some sort of assessment or tracking can lead to wasteful spending. If you don’t know how many new customers you have reached or how many sales you achieved from your promotion, how do you know it was worthwhile?

Before spending more money on your current marketing activities, take a moment and consider what it would take to have a professional create a marketing plan for your business. With a professional marketing plan in place and someone to coach you through the activity steps, you may have a better chance at achieving your goals, attracting new customers, and selling more. And in the end, isn’t that the result you want from your marketing programs?

Develop An Effective Marketing Plan To Ensure Your Business Success

A successful business is raised on the foundation of a great marketing plan. Selling is the most crucial and also the most difficult aspect of any business. Marketing of a product or service is real hard work and a good marketing plan is what ensures that the hard work bears fruit. It outlines how a business will go about attracting prospects, converting them into customers and retaining these customers in the long run.

Marketing plans and strategies are ever-evolving and have to be drawn up to fit the situation and its specific needs. They are required at whatever stage a business might be. Whether you are a start-up or an established business, you must have an effective marketing plan. To have a successful marketing plan, you will have to consider the following essential elements

  • Analyzing the Market: You cannot afford to operate on the basis of assumptions about the market and customers. You need to conduct a thorough analysis of the prevailing market environments, your strengths & weaknesses and the existing competition. Study your target customers and get in-depth knowledge of their needs and preferences. Based on this, you can determine your marketing objectives and position your product suitably.
  • Creating Marketing Messages & Determining Marketing Methods: Once your product profile matches the customer profile, you have to plan how to sell the product to the target market. You have to come up creative, meaningful and compelling messages that address the expectations and requirements of your audience. Select the most effective mediums of conveying these marketing messages. A variety of online and offline marketing tools are available. For best results, you will have to use a judicious mix of conventional and online marketing techniques.
  • Planning and Monitoring the Budget: A marketing budget planned to the smallest of details is very essential in a marketing plan. You have to be realistic and exact, and base the budget on your goals. You will also have to monitor the budget, track the expenses and analyze the spending on a budgeted and actual’ basis.
  • Evaluating and Reviewing the Plan: Decide a time-frame for your marketing plan and determine the metrics on which you will measure its success. Measure the results it produces and compare them with the expected success. This will help to know whether any corrections or modifications are required to make the plan more successful.

A strategic marketing plan is the secret behind every successful business. If you are not satisfied with the results of your marketing tactics, consult a professional marketing agency that can devise a targeted marketing plan to help improve your business and increase the sales. A reliable and comprehensive online local business directory is your best source for finding a capable and experienced marketing expert servicing your area.

How to Benefit From Renegade Network Marketer Concept and How Network Marketing Works

It is very easy to become an independent distributor for any MLM company; the challenge is recruiting a sizable organization to generate income. Building a network marketing business is getting more difficult; as it is getting very competitive because there are more companies enter into the market everyday. To become successful in this business, you need to be prepared mentally and emotionally to overcome all disappointment and rejections associated with prospecting and sponsoring.

If you want to be champion of this business, you must prepare to explore different prospecting and leads generation methods.

By exploring these three methods, you will be able to add 20 to 30 new reps a week to your business…guaranteed! As long as you are prepared to work out the concepts, you will be able to get a predictable result

(1) The Magnetic Sponsoring Concept

In order to stand out from the crowd, you must be different from others. You need to brand yourself so that your prospect can differentiate you from others. Magnetic sponsoring is all about branding yourself as an expert in any MLM company. You need to decide how you want to brand yourself and focus on building that brand. This system applies the concept of all successful marketing company has a brand that their customers can associate to. Instead of you chase after your prospect, you prospect looks for you. You are being hunted rather going everywhere to hunt for prospect. This is a major shift in paradigm as most MLM companies will train you to become a skilled “head hunter” to hunt for your prospect. This concept is founded by Mike Dillard who started as a waiter and within one and a half years, turned his network marketing business into a million dollar business because he ‘cracked the code’ to network marketing by finding a way to generate leads and turn those leads into money. In this system, you make money regardless your prospect joins your primary MLM business.

(2) The Renegade Network Marketer Concept

This is a concept that goes against the grain of what most traditional network marketing reps know. The network marketing newbie learns all the skill from his up line mentors and his mentors learn it from their mentors. Methods such as building a list of names by searching the directory of mobile phone and gather name cards that collected years ago, meeting up with strangers, approach anyone who is 3 foot around you(3 foot rules), approaching dead beat leads are all outdated methods are considered obsolete. They practice new ways to bring in leads on the Internet and although this concept is shunned by old school network marketers, it has brought results to many people who embrace their techniques.

(3) How Network Marketing Works

How Network Marketing Works is a step-by-step system that teaches network marketing reps how to generate leads using the Internet. This course is very comprehensive as it teaches people how to tap into Internet marketing traffic generation methods. Topics include how to build powerful lead capturing pages, how to use ready written network marketing articles to drive traffic and different ways of list building methods, the training consists of audio courses and video courses that teach you everything about lead generation in network marketing. The courses also coach you how to write persuasive emails and get people to buy your offers.

Regardless of which method you decide to use, it is very important to take necessary actions and not to give up before experiencing success.

Please remember that thing which we persist in doing becomes easier to do, not because that the nature of the thing has changed but our ability to do has increased.

Marketing Plans: Do I Really Need One?

What happens when you go to the grocery store without a list? You typically end up buying a bunch of stuff you don’t really need, spending more money than you planned, and come home to realize you forgot quite a few things. Then you have to go back again to get everything right. This is the same scenario you will face when you don’t sit down and write a marketing plan. It may seem like a waste of time, when all you want to do is jump in and get started, but actually sitting down and writing a marketing plan will save you time, money, and frustration in the long run. Here is what a marketing plan can do for your business:

Help you Focus on a Target Market

Without a marketing plan, it’s easy to get caught up marketing to everyone instead of a specific target audience. When you sit down and write a marketing plan, you think about who has a need for your product or service. You look at demographics such as age, gender, location, and education. When you narrow down your target market, you’ll be able to focus all your marketing dollars on an audience who actually has a need for your product or service, and stop wasting money marketing to an audience who has no interest.

Help you Spend Your Money More Efficiently

How do you know how much money you will allot to your marketing efforts, or determine if you are over or under-spending? Generally, around 10% of sales should be spent on marketing. Once you figure out this number and actually get it written in your plan, you will easily see how much you will be able to spend of each marketing strategy, and keep yourself from going over-budget.

Help You Focus on Specific Goals

Are you trying to get more sales? More leads? Increase brand awareness? Without a marketing plan, you don’t have a specific goal to work towards. All of your marketing efforts are going to help you work towards your goal, but if you don’t have a concrete goal written down ahead of time, you may find yourself getting off track in your marketing efforts.

Help You Monitor Your Competition

You know your business is going to have competition, but do you know how you compare to them? With a marketing plan, you take the time to find out exactly how you stack-up against the competition in terms of price, products offered, marketing strategies, etc. When you are able to see a side-by-side comparison, it will help you know what you need to do to gain the competitive edge.

Focus Your Marketing Strategies

Are you going to run a newspaper ad, or send out marketing emails, or focus on social media? There are tons of choices when it comes to marketing strategies, and you can’t do them all. If you have taken the time to define your goals and target audience in a marketing plan, you can decide what strategies will work best to achieve those goals.

Creating a marketing plan requires some effort on your part. You have to do quite a bit of research and planning ahead of time, and it is an ongoing process that will change as your business grows. But a well-written marketing plan is like a map, leading you the direction you want to go and preventing you from getting lost along the way. Take the time to write a detailed marketing plan now and your business will definitely reap the benefits down the road.