Develop A Small Business Marketing Plan To Help Reach Your Goals.
Whether you're just starting or you've been in business for a while, a well-crafted marketing plan is essential to your success.
A small business marketing plan:
- It helps you understand your customers and what they want
- Defines your target market and how to reach them
- Sets measurable goals and objectives
- Details your budget and how you'll allocate your resources
- Creates a timeline for implementing your marketing activities
- Provides an evaluation process to track your progress
As you can see, a small business marketing plan is essential to your success, and it's not something you can quickly create and then forget exists. Instead, it's a living document that you should revisit regularly. I suggest making it a Google Doc and then set a reminder to update it weekly. I like to do my weekly planning on a Sunday, so including goal-setting in that hour or so is all part of the business plan!
Now that we've covered the basics let's dive into creating your small business marketing plan.
Define Your Goals and Objectives
Any successful marketing campaign starts with a plan. And that plan should begin with clearly defining your marketing goals and objectives. Without a clear sense of what you're trying to achieve, it will be difficult to measure your success and make course corrections along the way. So how do you go about defining your marketing goals and objectives?
The first step is to take a step back and consider your overall business goals. What are you trying to achieve with your marketing efforts?
Are you looking to increase brand awareness, generate leads, or drive sales? Once you understand your overall goals, you can break them into more specific marketing goals.
For example, you might set a goal to double your social media marketing followers in the next six months to increase brand awareness. Or, if you're looking to generate leads, you might set a goal to generate 30 new leads per month through pay-per-click marketing.
Let's say you are a building company. You cover all aspects of building, but, want to specialise in damp proofing. You have roughly a £2,000 budget and you need leads fast. In this case you 'could' spend £2,000 building a website covering every aspect of building with multiple pages for each of your specialties such as
- loft conversions
- damp proofing
- house extensions
This might be regarded as the right thing to do by many marketing companies. But when your website is finished, it can take time to show organically and you don't know exactly how the website will perform.
In this situation, we would build a home page with information about your business and a brief overview of your services. We would also create a landing page for damp proofing. This would keep the development cost of your website down, allowing some of the budget to be put toward pay-per-click advertising for a few months.
After several months of pay-per-click advertising, we will be able to provide a cost per lead, and you, as a business, will be able to make an informed decision as to whether you want to continue receiving these leads at this cost. It's likely that you will and when your business earns money, it's easier to spend money.
At this point, you can choose to either continue running your business focusing on the sole inquiries you want (damp proofing), or you can choose to grow and add a new landing page for a new service, such as house extensions and add this service to your pay-per-click campaign.
Once you have your marketing goals defined, the next step is to develop objectives that will help you achieve those goals. Objectives should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).
You should develop two or three objectives for each goal that fit these criteria. For example, suppose one of your marketing goals is to generate a specific number of new leads per month.
In that case, possible objectives might be to create and implement a lead generation campaign within the next month and generate ten new leads per week by improving your landing page website design for that campaign.
By developing specific and measurable objectives, you'll be able to track your progress and adjust your marketing plans as needed.
Understand Your Customers
What are their needs and wants, what motivates them and what demographics do they fit?
Once you understand your customer base, you can develop a marketing strategy that will resonate with them.
Remember that your marketing strategy should evolve as your business grows and changes. By taking the time to understand your customers, you can ensure that your marketing efforts are always on point.
Define Your Target Market
Marketing to everyone is a recipe for a marketing disaster. It would be best if you focused your marketing efforts and messages on those people who are most likely to buy from you.
Defining your target market is essential to the success of your marketing plan. By taking the time to identify and understand your target market, you'll be able to create more effective marketing campaigns that resonate with your audience and leads to increased sales.
Choose Your Marketing Channels
Your marketing plan is like a roadmap that will take your business from Point A (where you are now) to Point B (your goal). The first step is to choose your marketing channels. There are many options, from traditional print or TV advertising to newer techniques like search engine optimisation or building specific websites for tradespeople.
The key is to find the channels that will work best for your business and your budget. Once you've selected your marketing channels, the next step is creating a marketing strategy for each. This strategy will detail how you will use each channel to reach your target audience and achieve your marketing goals. With a solid plan, you'll be well on your way to success.
Set a Marketing Budget
One of the most important aspects of any marketing plan is setting a budget. Without a budget, it is not easy to track expenses and measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.
Additionally, a marketing budget can help to prevent overspending and keep marketing efforts on track.
When setting a marketing budget, businesses should consider their overall marketing goals. From there, you can allocate funds based on the different marketing channels you will use.
For example, companies may spend more online advertising if they target a digital-savvy audience. Once a marketing budget is in place, businesses should monitor their spending and adjust as needed. By setting a marketing budget, companies can ensure that their marketing efforts are well-coordinated and effective.
Create a Timeline
A marketing plan is essential for any business that wants to thrive. Companies can map their marketing goals by creating a timeline and ensuring they hit their targets. Doing so requires careful thought and planning, but the results will be worth it.
The first step is to decide what you want to achieve with your marketing. What are your short-term and long-term goals? Once you have a clear idea of your objectives, you can create a timeline.
Begin by outlining the key milestones you want to hit, then work backwards.
Fill in the details of your plan, including when you will carry out specific tasks and how you will measure your progress. Remember to be realistic in your planning, and don't try to bite off more than you can chew.
By mapping out your plan and ensuring that you stay on track, you can maximize your chances of success.
Evaluate Your Progress
After you've put in the hard work of creating goals and a marketing plan, it's time to take a step back and evaluate your progress.
Tracking progress is an essential part of the sales process, allowing you to identify what works and what can be improved. There are a few key things to look for when evaluating your progress:
- Consider whether you're meeting your goals. If not, why not? Are there changes you need to make to your marketing plan?
- Take a look at your sales numbers. Are they increasing? If not, again, consider what changes you need to make.
- Think about your brand awareness.
- Are more people aware of your company?
A marketing plan is essential for any small business that wants to succeed. Following the steps above, you can create a solid plan to help you achieve your goals. With a little hard work and dedication, you can reach new heights.
Good luck! If you need help devising an internet marketing strategy, contact me