Small Business Marketing Plans

Sydney, Australia.
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Small business marketing plans are important to pursue a streamlined strategy for marketing that will improve sales and enhance profitability.

A marketing plan is a written document that reflects the vision of the entrepreneur and clearly states the steps planned for promoting sales through advertising and other marketing tools in the forthcoming year. It clearly delineates the marketing strategy being adopted and small businesses also need to have clear cut marketing objectives for both the short term and long term, listed in their concise plan.

A marketing plan needs to be written after proper research and collection of information from every section of the business. It takes time to prepare, and will prove to be successful only if it has the requisite inputs to give direction to the employees.

Key Elements in a Successful Small Business Marketing Plan

  1. A brief overview of the business- The business plan must first list what the company produces and sells and provide details about past achievements.
  2. The marketing environment- This is supposed to explain the environment in which the small business operates. It should include the market it caters to, its target customers, demography, geography, competitors, disposable incomes per household, the overall economic scenario and other political or social factors which may impede the business.
  3. The marketing activity taking place- Every marketing plan should have the 7 P’s of product, price, place, promotion, physical environment, people and process. These help in finalizing the action plan for the small business.
  4. The marketing objectives- Though largely based on the financial aim of the company, these explain the larger picture about where the company is headed. The objectives must include a quantitative description of what it seeks to accomplish. Objectives include both the short term, which is the coming year, and long term. Thus, plans of diversification, new launches, entering new markets or global expansion plans can all be explained after appropriate research. Many marketing plans have a five-year plan as well.
  5. Impediments - The marketing team that is out collecting information has a very clear idea about what impediments their business is likely to face and ways to remove the obstacles can be listed in the plan.
  6. Opportunities and expansion possibilities- Analysis of the business environment will reveal several avenues waiting to be explored. These need a thorough feasibility study and then included in the plan.
  7. Marketing Goals- these define the goals and targets expected to be achieved in the coming year, which then set the production targets. Price levels, distribution channels, advertising and sales promotion all need to be included. These have to be based on past performance and expected customer behavior and realistic targets, quantitatively listed, are more helpful.

Successful small business marketing plans are those that are more realistic and prepared after a thorough research and analysis. Their effectiveness can be tested only over a period of time after their implementation.



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