Small Business Marketing Plan



A small business marketing plan is a written document that contains detailed step by step action necessary to achieve a specific or set of marketing objectives. It describes the actions to be taken to achieve set marketing objectives through customers’ needs satisfaction.

This is often the weakest part of a business plan so it is important you spend enough time to get all of the research you need to complete it successfully. Your Marketing Plan will include both your strategies for growing sales as well as the tactics you will employ to get there along with an overview of the competition in your market.

Structure of a marketing plan

A good marketing plan has the following structure;

Executive summary

An executive summary is a summary of your small business marketing plan. Your executive plan should not be too lengthy. It should be written clearly.

Situation Analysis

The situation analysis answers the question ‘where are we now?’ It analyse the current business situation. The situation analysis is more of an internal audit of the business and its past performance. An internal audit looks at the following;

 The business past objectives

 The business marketing mix strategies

 The business past budgets

 The business past segmentation,and positioning strategies.

 A SWOT analysis of the business.

SMART objectives

SMART objective is an acronym used to set business objectives. A business must have SMART marketing objectives. A smart objective should be;

Specific- a business marketing objective must be specific.

Measurable- objective should be measurable and quantifiable.

Achievable- the set objective should be one within your reach. It should not be too much for you to attain.

Realistic- will the resources you have be enough to achieve the objectives?

Time- when do you want to achieve this marketing objective?

Let’s look at an example of SMART objective. This objective is in view of increasing the market share of BCU Ltd a company that sells African food. The company will state its objectives as; to gain 35% of the market shares of African food sales by December 2012.

How will we get there?

Here we will be looking at how we are going to meet our SMART objective. How do we get there? In view of this we are going to:

Define our target market, select the segment of the market we want to target and create a positioning strategy.

Device a marketing mix strategy.

Evaluation

How do we know we are there?

Small business marketing plan is a very important tool for the growth and survival of your business.

Here we will be looking at how we will be evaluating our plan to see if we are achieving our objectives. We can do this evaluation with the following benchmark;

• Sales data

• Consumers feedback

• Market share data.

With these dada the business can be evaluated to see if it has achieve its marketing objectives.

Target Market

You need to have an understanding of the size of the target market for your product and the niche you are trying to carve out for your business. Explain the type of person or business that is likely to buy your product or service and how large this market is. Be sure to describe your direct competition, but don't forget your indirect competition. Your indirect competitors are the businesses that sell a product that is not the same as yours but could be used as an alternative by your customer.

Services/ Products

Your marketing strategy should communicate what makes your product or service unique. It is important to describe both the features and the benefits of your product or service. . The benefits describe what good things the customer will enjoy by using your product or service (e.g. save time, save money, feel better etc.).

Pricing Strategy

The most important part of your strategy is to determine how you will price your product or service. The secret here is to establish a reasonable base price that will enable you to make a fair profit. You may believe the easiest route is simply to set your prices in accordance with those of your competitors. Before you set a base price, you have to look at your own objectives and special considerations.

Sales/ Distribution Plan

This should contain the details of how the transaction between you and your customer will take place, and also the type of distribution channels available to you (sales people, Internet, account representatives, delivery services etc) It should include a discussion about how you plan on selling your product or service and it should outline all of the different people and companies involved in getting your product into the hands of your customer.

Advertising and Promotions Plan

Your Advertising and Promotions Plan must show how you are going to communicate to your customers and prospects. There are numerous ways by which your business may communicate including advertising, public relations, brochures, a Website, trade shows, etc. Small business marketing plan is a very important tool for all small business



Related Link

How To Create Marketing Plans For Success How to create marketing plans is a common question and something you have no doubt thought about with regards to your organization, product, service or idea. The following provides the what, why and how to write a marketing plan that works for you. The goal is to distill the best of marketing theory into actionable information you can use immediately to develop a marketing plan that works.

Sample marketing plan When you're new at business, it's hard to know how to plan. A sample marketing plan can give you a template to develop your own strategies.

Marketing Plan Resources

Click here to prioritize your marketing projects, write a comprehensive marketing plan.
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MarketingBuilder provides everything to develop your strategy, sort priorities, and organize your plan to create successful marketing campaigns. It manages a collection of sample business marketing plan templates that you can easily edit using Microsoft® Word. With step-by-step instructions, samples, and over 80 templates to help you get the best results for your marketing investment. Also includes 33 customizable decision support tools in Excel® to analyze options, substantiate promotions and measure results – simply fill in the variables and print. Multi-user capability enables collaboration over the Internet (Win only for now). More about marketing plan software...
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Guide To Business Marketing Plan

Check out our guide for relevant resources to help you build and design your small business marketing plan.




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