To be successful, a local business must have a local business marketing plan. Why? People and businesses don’t fail, they fail to plan. In fact, according to the Small Business Association only 35% of local small businesses will survive to see their 10 year anniversary.
Why Businesses Fail
There are many underlying reasons for small business failure; lack of experience, insufficient capital, poor location, poor inventory management, over-investment in fixed assets, poor credit arrangement management, personal use of business funds, unexpected growth, competition and low sales. The one constant message for small businesses; “failing to plan is planning to fail”.
A marketing plan is like a road map. It guides you along a path to successfully attracting buyers for your products and services. The days of buying or renting some space, throwing some products on the self, hanging a sign on the street and expecting customers to walk through your door are long gone.
As a result one of the most important parts of your overall business plan must be a local business marketing plan. Research confirms that a having a written marketing plan can double or triple your chance of success.
The Importance of Marketing Plan Goals
A marketing plan outline defines a process for implementing activities that attract buyers to you and your products and services. These activities may include market research, media planning, product pricing, public relations, customer support, networking, advertising and much more.
The plan itself is important and defines the process and specific activities required to keep the user focused on the goal. Goals can be set for any time frame; your life, next year, next month, next week and daily. Goals are critically important to define for any local small businesses to realistically implement an effective marketing plan.
Make Your Marketing Plan Goals Realistic and Affordable
Goals that are big will inspire, motivate and unleash your own power to achieve. Having goals that are part of the overall plan will give you vision, keep you focused and moving toward the overall objective. Goals need to be specific: the more specific they are the more likely you will be to achieve it. Goals can be set for any time frame; your life, next year, next month, next week and daily.
For local small businesses goals must be measurable, action oriented, realistically achievable, affordable, and time specific.
An Affordable Marketing Plan is Important
Creating an affordable marketing plan today is not as difficult as you might think. In fact the Internet provides tremendous opportunity for small businesses to develop an online marketing plan that incorporates all the elements of a very expensive, professionally developed, effective program at a fraction of the cost. The key is understanding how the Internet can help you get found online and attract new customers.
If you sell products and services locally and don’t currently have a marketing plan, our Local Marketing Magic Program incorporates a marketing plan template to help you get started.
Local Business Marketing Plan Benefits
Here nine more reasons that you need to have an up-to-date marketing plan.
A marketing plan will help you:
Define Your Vision
You’re in business selling products and services because you have a vision. Your vision is an important part of your business. How you see your business being different from the competition is just as important as how you see your business right now. Your vision needs to be clear and define who you are and who you want to become.
Your vision should be written clearly to define what it is you are going to do for your customers.
Clearly Define Your Marketing Goal
Having an overall marketing vision is important. Clearly defining where your business is going and how you’re going to get there is critically important. The very process of developing and evaluating your marketing plan is an excellent way to gain clarity around your business goals.
Develop Your Marketing Strategy
Without a plan your marketing efforts will likely be inconsistent. Things will happen haphazardly and by chance, the problem is that while this method sometimes works, most of the time it doesn’t.
Marketing inconsistency can be disastrous. Research confirms that having a written marketing plan that keeps your marketing focused and consistent can double or triple your chance of success.
Help You Take Action
Having a written marketing plan will provide you triggers that help you take specific action to achieve your goals. A marketing plan will define the tools you will use and outline a step-by-step action plan that becomes your path to success.
Keep Your Marketing Affordable
Marketing and advertising can be very expensive. The days of hanging a sign on the door and waiting for people to walk in are gone. Without an affordable marketing plan you can easily waste a lot of money and not see any positive results.
Mange Your Time
Your time is an even more precious resource than money. When you have a marketing plan that defines if – then marketing scenarios you can more efficiently manage your time.
These if – then scenarios become triggers that can quickly help you take the steps necessary to reach your goals instead of wasting time on tasks that aren’t bringing you a return on investment.
For example – if you’re selling much more of brand X than brand Y, you can then focus on talking more about brand X instead of brand Y.
Identify Your Customers
Knowing who your customers are and what they need and want is critically important. You can’t be financially successful in business without customers.
Understanding your niche and what unique benefits you offer to customers in your niche is critically important to your marketing efforts.
Trying to appeal to everyone by not knowing or understanding who your real audience is, can be both costly and a waste of time and resources, don’t let this happen to you.
Help You Plan for Success
A marketing plan is the most important part of any business plan because a business selling products and services can’t survive without customers.
As Confucius says “Man who plans for nothing, gets what he planned for.
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