Many business owners don’t know where to begin when it comes time to develop a marketing plan.  Some don’t even know what a marketing plan is.  The Chamber wants to help!  Over the next few weeks, I will be posting information on marketing plans: what they are, where to start, and how they can benefit your business.

Marketing plans are a guide to all of the marketing you plan throughout the year.  For example if you publish advertising in a local trade magazine or newspaper, you will want to plan in advance what your advertisements will look like and focus on for each month. This will help you avoid the last minute crunch that sometimes happens when life gets busy. Sometimes that last minute crunch can be the reason a business misses the deadline to submit a new advertisement. Does the month in question host a holiday? Are your products more necessary at certain times of the year? What should you do in the slower months? These kinds of questions should be addressed in your marketing plan.

Financial records are easy to reference whenever questions arise.  Your marketing plan should be too.  Each month, you should review how you plan to promote your business. Consider your marketing plan as an instructional guide to get your business to the place you want it to be.

All this planning sounds like a lot of work, and it is.  However, once the initial plan is laid out, the rest of the work is much easier.  Imagine having a portfolio of tools pre-planned, which you can refer to and use quickly and effectively. Even if your main marketing guru leaves your company, the marketing plan is still there and available to be used in his absence.

Don’t forget your current customers. In addition to planning ways to bring in new business, also include plans to keep your current customers coming back.  It won’t help your company if you’re losing customers at the same rate you’re gaining them.

The Chamber wants to help you grow your business. Return here each week for more information on marketing plans and ideas to include in yours.

Talk to you soon,