Even with a rock-solid business idea in hand, small business aspirants often wonder whether their business really needs a marketing plan or blueprint. The challenge is often that they don’t have an idea about what it may take to make branding and marketing work for their business. In fact, they may be experts in their field but when it comes to investing in marketing, it’s a huge investment, especially when you don’t know how to approach it!
What results often is a mix-and-match of a variety of in-house and external marketing tactics. This means, if it works for their business, the business owners have no idea whatsoever about what is working for them and vice versa.
Here’s why one needs to step back to assess and come up with a concrete marketing plan! You may not be a marketing expert, but know what! You know your business better than anyone.
Being on the same page matters: A marketing plan provides you a blueprint to go back to throughout the marketing process. It keeps you and others on your team on the same page in terms of the direction that you have chosen to head to and means of getting there—target audience, marketing goals and strategies, situation analysis and budget.
Focus is the word: With a wide and ever-changing digital world, it’s easy to get distracted and lose sight of the goals. A marketing plan can be your go-to guide to keep you on track.
Cash, Cash, Baby! Free means of marketing will only do so much for your business. At some point, you will need to shell out money, whether it is for Google Analytics, business cards or coding. So being a small business owner, you need to be cognizant of the budget and stick to it.
Mind the time: Timelines are crucial if you want to see certain results and can be a lifesaver for you.
Your standing: A marketing plan has well-defined goals and also provides a benchmark on how to measure the success of those goals. Are you strategies paying off? Are you investing more or less than required? Are the timelines realistic? Do you need more people on board? Where do you stand as per your blueprint?
So, yes, you definitely need a marketing plan to optimize your marketing investment. It’s not about making it look fancy as it’s for your own use. It’s about being realistic, patient and conscious of your brand and the industry trends.
So market it right!