Every business owner starts his business with an idea and a dream.
And from that idea, a passion is sparked for either a product or service that he or she is good at, that gives them a sense of fulfillment. And so, the business owner goes off and starts working in their business.
But having an excellent product needs Marketing – and those marketing efforts need to reflect how awesome that product or service really is.
A lot of the time, the marketing gets pushed to the side. The excuse? "There is just no time."
Forgetting, that without New Business being generated constantly, there will be no business.
Not only does your Marketing efforts generate new business, but it should also keep engagement with old business, because that is where you will make the biggest percentage of your turnover.
Without marketing, potential customers may not be aware of the product or service that your business is selling. Without customers, your business may meet its demise. Marketing plays a vital role in business because planning how you're going to reach potential customers helps to ensure that people are aware of your product or service and that you have the opportunity to convert that awareness into paying customers!
Not everyone however, is good at marketing.
A Marketing Plan is Strategic
Just as you plan for other aspects of your business, such as cash flow, stock and creditors, thinking ahead about your marketing efforts is key to staying competitive. By plotting your marketing strategies ahead of time, your business will run more smoothly and your efforts are more likely to pay off.
Planning your Marketing helps you Stay Focused
Your marketing plan is a direct map to the goals you want to achieve for your company. It also gives you a time frame to work towards - with minimum stress. Planning your marketing will help you coordinate your efforts and be proactive – Not Reactive. A plan will help you stay organized and on track throughout the year. Your marketing is more likely to get done when you take the time to identify what you want to do and when you want to do it!
Put it on Paper
Plan your efforts by first identifying your market and then letting it determine how to proceed. Which events and opportunities will help you accomplish your goals? Is it in your best interest to attend an association meeting that your clients are involved with? (Example: The Plumbing Association or Kitchen Association of South Africa) Think strategically about where you need to be. Consider the natural cycles of your industry, for instance, a landscaper: sales vary according to season.
A marketing plan should include marketing objectives, strategies, brand positioning, messaging and networking activities.
Use a Marketing and Social Media Calendar to stay focused
Once you have identified the events and activities to target, incorporate your marketing plan into a calendar. Some people find it easy to use a wall calendar, others like a desk calendar or excel. We use a plastic wall calendar that you can scribble all over with white board markers – and we like colours! This is obtainable at any stationary shop.
Set goals and constantly assess your progress
Think about the marketing goals that you want to implement. Determine how to implement ideas, assign each a date for completion, then work backward from your deadline. Also, be sure to examine your ideas to see whether they can be used to achieve more than one goal. Think about who you want to reach – When you want to reach them – And how you are going to do it.
Then mark it on your calendar
When you plan your marketing efforts and merge them smoothly with your other responsibilities and commitments, they are more likely to pay off.
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