No matter what your online business focus is, from healthcare to clothing, having a solid, well thought out marketing plan can really make all the difference.
Having a marketing plan can take the guesswork out of so many aspects of your business. Your budgeting becomes easier, your time management becomes easier and managing your workload will become easier as well.
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And the best thing is knowing that a good marketing strategy isn’t just for large businesses.
Small businesses, even sole trader operations running out of a spare room can benefit tremendously from getting a good marketing plan.
AnalyseThe Current Situation
First off, on your path to a marketing plan, you’ll indeed to analyse your current situation. This means taking stock of where your business is and where you want to be in a year, 2 years even 5 years down the line.
You will need to have a grip on how much money is available to the business, where you are spending money and what profits you are making before you go any further.
You will also need to take a good, honest look at your competition.
Really try to see who is competing at your level in the market, and try to work out where it is that they do things better from you, and why your customers buy from them instead.
You may want to consider hiring the expertise of a management consulting firm to help you with this.
Who Is Your Customer?
Next you need to know exactly who your customer is.
This may sound easier than it really is. You have to understand your customer and work out why this person comes to purchase your products and services and not another firms.
It may be price, it may be quality, and it may be because of your unique selling point. If you do have a unique selling point then identifying the target customer is a great way to start maximising your focus in future.
Once you know where you are, and you understand who is buying from you, and potentially who isn’t buying from you, you are in a better position to move forwards.
From this point you can start making goals.
Work on making the most of what you have got. If you believe your product is different from the competition then focus on marketing that difference to the people to whom it makes the most difference.
You need to be putting your efforts into the areas that will bring the greatest rewards.
Don’t sit on your laurels at this point. You need to constantly analyse where you are in the market and learn to change and adapt as the market changes. Only by doing this can you keep on the ball and on top of the market.