All of us know that marketing is crucial to business success. After all, how would people come to know about your product or service if you don’t promote it?
At the same time, marketing can be an overwhelming process for many of us, as it is largely based on assumptions on one hand, and mass marketing can be a disaster for your finances and time on the other.
Before you start writing a marketing plan for your business, spend as much time as you can reading through some samples of marketing plans.
Reading sample business plans will give you a good idea of what you’re aiming for and also it will show you the different sections that different entrepreneurs include and the language they use to write about themselves and their marketing plans and goals.
Know Your Business
The first step towards making an effective marketing plan is knowing your business inside out. This involves asking yourself some crucial questions which are as follows:
What do you want to achieve with your business?
This is one of the most important questions you should ask yourself. It helps you define clear goals for your business and expected outcomes for your marketing campaigns. And as you have something tangible to work upon you are bound to do a better job due to the added clarity.
It also increases your chances of meeting those goals and aspirations with your business.
Make a note of your business’s current situation
Make a note of who you are as a business currently. How is your product or service perceived, what is your market position, what is your business’s financial position, and so on? That'll help you understand what will work for your business in its current situation.
Hence, this step helps you create specialized strategies for your business.
Define your product or service and how it can help someone
Defining what your customers can get out of your product or service, greatly improves a marketing campaign’s chances for success. As it makes the use of your product clearer and makes conveying your message to your audience easier.
Know the Market
Now, as you know everything about your business, try knowing as much as you can about the market and what kind of effect the different aspects of the market would have on your business. And you can understand by considering the following:
Who are your competitors?
This question is foundational to your marketing strategy. Knowing who your competitors are, what is their position in the market, what are the attributes of their product or service, what are their marketing strategies, what seems to be working for them and what doesn’t, etc is important to make an effective marketing strategy for yourself.
This exercise would help you understand what would make you stand apart in the market, what are some mistakes that you should avoid, and on top of that, you might get some great ideas for your strategy too.
Who are your customers?
This question is central, not just to your marketing plan but to your business as a whole. It is essential to know who your customers are, what they need, what are their challenges, what language they use, what marketing channels they spend their time on, how they make their buying decisions, and so on.
This makes your marketing plan ten times more effective as it speaks directly to your customer.
Find Your Marketing Channels
Next up you’ll find the channels and sources that are the best for marketing your business. Different platforms work for different businesses, hence you should do your research and find out which would work the best for your business.
The right platform is mostly the one your target audience spends their most time on. A few common marketing channels are as follows:
This is one of the most trending marketing channels today. Having a website and providing useful information about your product or service, how it helps, and information about relevant areas of your niche can act as a great marketing source for your business.
Social media and other digital platforms are a great and less expensive way of marketing your business. The best part about social media is that you get to interact with your audience on a personal level.
Print and TV ads
Several products and services can benefit from traditional advertising too. Though this form of advertising costs more, you can use it if it helps you reach your target audience.
You can also use several other mediums like email marketing, product reviews, social media and YouTube ads, and so on.
Make Your Marketing Budget
The final step towards making your marketing plan is to make your marketing budget and tweak your ideas to fit into it. Having a budget ensures that you aren’t overspending or underspending on marketing.
You should cover all the direct and indirect expenses on the list, and make changes to the allotments based on the results you see.
Now that you have your marketing plan along with a well-thought-of budget, it's time to get started with executing your campaigns and strategies with as much precision as possible.
Also, you should constantly track the progress of your strategies and change them as the market trends change and based on the results you get out of them.
Chalking Out Your Business Plan
If you are looking to expand or grow your business, the first thing you will need is a marketing plan. Use our marketing plan template which is created for small businesses, to start writing your marketing plan in no time.
We have created this small business marketing plan template for you to get a good idea of what a perfect marketing plan should look like and what details you will need to include in your winning marketing plan.
Don’t spend another minute overthinking it. Because we can tell you how you can make market assumptions closest to the right one. With the help of a marketing plan. And here, we’ll try to walk you through the entire process of creating a marketing plan for your business.
Small Business Marketing Plan Outline
This is the standard small business marketing plan outline which will cover all important sections that you should include in your business plan.
- Executive Summary
- Market analysis
- Target market
- PEST analysis (Environmental Analysis)
- SWOT analysis
- Consumer Analysis
- Competitor profile
- Market segmentation and customer analysis
- Market segmentation
- Market research findings
- Market segmentation
- Your Customers
- Target customers
- Customer profile
- Target customers
- Your Competitors
- Competitor analysis
- Competitor profile
- Competitor name
- Objectives and goals
- Mission statement
- Marketing objectives
- Sales Objectives
- Profit Objectives
- Pricing Objectives
- Product Objectives
- Marketing strategies
- Pricing strategy
- Product strategy
- Place(Position) strategy
- Promotional strategy
- People strategy (salespeople, staff, etc.)
- Process strategy (Buying experience)
- Physical Environment
- Productivity Strategy
- Budget and risk management
- Marketing Budget
- Risk Assessment
Above all, you should work on your marketing plan but the most essential thing for marketing to work is to go ahead and do it and learn as you go. A plan just helps you avoid simple mistakes and maximize your opportunities.
After getting started with Upmetrics, you can copy this small business marketing plan template into your marketing plan and modify the required information and download your marketing plan pdf and doc file. It's the fastest and easiest way to start writing your marketing plan.
So, are you ready to start writing your marketing plan?
Ready to Start Your Planning?
Now that you know how to write a business plan, it's time to create one for you.
Remember that problem and market analysis are essential, but implementation is what counts. Go through the process explained in this guide to start planning for your business.
We have created Upmetrics — business plan software to simplify the process of business planning.
Our business plan builder allows you to write and customize your business plan. Our sample business plans and inbuilt help tips will help you to get started with your writing even if you are no expert. Our business plan sections and charts will make your document visually attractive.
Our financial forecasting module will create all the essential reports automatically. You need to enter numbers, and the application will do all the math to generate all your financial statements. Later you can embed those reports into your business plan.
After completing your business plan, you can download your business plan in PDF or DOC file with Upmetrics. You can also share it online with investors just by a quick link.
Customize your Business Plan
All businesses are different. So, don't hesitate to customize your business plan according to your requirements.
Even though our sample business plans are to help you create the perfect presentation for your clients and investors, it is finally up to you to decide how you're going to present your ideas in the best light.
Business Planning Resources
We have plenty of free business planning resources available to help you with your planning. You can download our resources to learn all about business planning.