Tag Archives: marketing plan

Your Small Business Marketing Plan: Tips for Success

Your marketing plan could very well be the “make or break” element of your entire business plan. After all is said and done, your business is established and products are available for sale, you’ll still be doing marketing, sales and promotions. So when you’re writing your small business marketing plan, keep these tips for success and longevity in mind.

Stay Focused on the Main Purpose

When you’re writing a marketing plan, it’s important that you stay focused on the main goal of why you’re writing it in the first place. The point is to create an actionable plan that will guide the decisions you make while marketing and promoting your products or services. Some people get too caught up in technicalities that distract them from this main purpose. Your marketing plan doesn’t have to be written to an exact standard to “sound good” — write your plan in plain language that you can understand and follow.

Work from an Outline

If the idea of writing a small business marketing plan seems like a major feat, make it easier by simply creating an outline. You’ll find that as you follow the outline you’ll add more and more details until you finally have a full plan of action. Here is a simple outline to follow:

–          Your Overall Marketing Vision

–          The Marketing Team (and Responsibilities)

–          Target Customer Profile(s)

–          Product Details

–          Promotional Plan

–          Pricing Plan

–          Distribution Plan



–          Marketing Budget

Study and Test Your Target Audience

Some new small business owners make ill-advised assumptions about who would want to buy their product or service, but later learn that they’re targeting the wrong people. If you stay too fixated on one target audience, you could be missing out on a lot of income. Conduct marketing research to test your theories about your target audience, such as surveys, polls, small focus groups and handing out product samples in exchange for a review. Keep your mind open to other target customers that might scramble to buy your product or service.

If you want your new company to succeed, it’s so important that you spend some time developing your small business marketing plan. Pin your plan on your computer for quick reference and add to it every day until it’s just right.

 Louise Gaillard is a social media manager, prolific writer and author.





Starting up a small business, even if it's just on the side, is no longer an option -- it's a necessity. Why? Because everyone needs an additional source of income in our new economy. Click here to sign up for educational and motivational posts to keep you on track.

A Quick Business Plan Outline for Your Small Business Startup

Some people think that it’s pointless to create a business plan unless you’re asking someone for money, but I beg to differ. The main reason why the majority of small businesses fail within the first 5 years of operation is poor planning. At the very least, you should create a short-form document (a few pages long) containing this business plan outline to use for your own reference.

Executive Summary

The executive summary is an introduction to what this business plan is all about. It offers an overview of your goals as a new business owner, what you’re selling and why you believe this is an awesome business idea. If you have an interesting (but brief) story to tell about how you got the idea or inspiration to start the business, here is where you put it.

Company Description

Just write the basics about your company, including the location, what you do, your industry and what makes you better than the rest.

Market Analysis

99 percent of businesses have some type of competition (or will at some point in the future). In this section of the business plan outline provide information about your industry, competitors and the market where you plan to sell your goods.

Management Profile

The people who are running a business are crucial to its success. In this section provide a list and details about each key player who is involved in launching and managing your business. If there are a lot of people, you may want to create an organizational chart using Microsoft Word.

Product or Service Description

Here is where you get down to the “nitty gritty” of what your business is all about. What do you plan to sell, how do you plan to make it and what makes it different and better than what’s already out there on the market?


Marketing Plan

As a marketing major, I may be a bit biased but I really think that this is the most important part of your business plan. After everything has been established, products designed, store in place (online or brick and mortar) and items purchased, all you’re going to be doing is marketing.

In this section of your business plan outline, discuss the 4 Ps of marketing (promotion, place, price, product) and give a detailed profile of your target audience. Use demographic data where possible and any marketing research you’ve done (focus groups, surveys, etc).

Financials

In my experience writing business plans, the financials are usually the most time consuming to complete. That’s because you have to create several different financial statements that can be a bit complicated to generate if you aren’t familiar with accounting. Statements you’ll need include an income statement (profit and loss), balance sheet and cash flow statement. You’ll need to create financial projections for years 1-5 (possibly longer if you’re applying for loans or an investment) and past statements if you’ve already been in business for a while.

If applying for financing, you also need to create a funding request outlining how much money you’re asking for, how you’ll use it and how you plan to repay it (if applicable). If you’re not familiar with how to do your financial section properly, hire an accountant to help.

Use this simple business plan outline to create a short plan for your own reference or to present to lenders or investors.



Starting up a small business, even if it's just on the side, is no longer an option -- it's a necessity. Why? Because everyone needs an additional source of income in our new economy. Click here to sign up for educational and motivational posts to keep you on track.