Marketing plans can be intimidating. But, every good business owner knows that they need one. Do you hire someone and spend hundreds or maybe thousands of dollars to have a plan written and implemented? Or, do you suck it up and try to do it yourself?
Marketing plans do not have to be overwhelming and extravagant. If you keep it simple and targeted, you can do it yourself; even if you’ve never written one before. Here are five tips for a DIY marketing plan that will help your mom-owned business soar in 2017.
Define Your Mission
You should be able to craft your business’ mission into a few key sentences. They should succinctly describe the type of businesses, the services or products you offer and what markets you serve. By creating your mission statement, you give your business a purpose and a direction for the future. This is crucial. It’s an important piece of information that should not only lead your marketing plan, but all of your business efforts.
Your marketing plan needs to be specific; from top to bottom. It needs to directly outline your goals, your purpose and your strategies. It should clearly describe all of the services that your business has to offer as well as your promotional strategies. The goals you list should be measurable. For instance, an unspecific, unquantifiable goal would be, ‘I will expose my business to new people this year.’ This doesn’t give you anything to measure so that you can gauge your progress. A more specific, measurable goal would be, ‘Market Mommy will grow its newsletter mailing list by 25 percent.’ By knowing where you are starting and where you want to be, you give yourself a chance to reach and exceed milestones.
Acknowledge the Competition
If there weren’t competition there wouldn’t be business. It’s important to understand and acknowledge your competitors. It’s important to be aware of their strategies and promotions. And, it’s important to take them into consideration as you develop your own plan of action. You must be able to position yourself as unique and superior. You must first understand them to know why you are better. Then, you need to tout your strengths throughout your marketing efforts.
Your marketing plan must detail specific actions and strategies. Depending on your niche and target audience these can vary. Most likely they will include online efforts, social media campaigns, events and so forth. The actions that you plan should be tailored to fit your market and products or services. By being an active member in your community, soliciting feedback from potential customers and networking with other business owners, you can establish a list of actions that will work best for you. Start small and don’t over-extend yourself. It’s important to stay focused especially in the beginning.
Monitor & Modify
Perhaps the most important piece of advice when writing your marketing plan is to remain flexible. This plan is a fluid document and not a stagnant one. Much of your marketing planning will be trial and error. But, it’s important to go through this process to determine what works best for you specifically. What works well for your competitor might not work well for you. Keep an open mind and be willing to try new strategies if something isn’t working. However, don’t give up on efforts too soon. Make sure you are giving them a chance to work. I generally suggest a three to four month time span before deciding to scrap a promotion or campaign.
Have you written your own marketing plan? Tell us about your experience, we’d love to hear from you! Still feeling overwhelmed and want a little input when it comes to your business’ 2017 marketing plan? We’d be glad to help. Comment here or send us an email.