No one has to be convinced that planning has advantages when it comes to your small business. You have a business plan after all. You plan your days, your jobs, how you’ll manage resources… But an astonishing 95% of small businesses don’t have a written marketing plan.
According to a recent post by Drew McLellan in the Small Business Branding blog, this failure to create a written marketing plan can have some pretty unsettling consequences…
- You’ll spend more money on marketing than you should
- You’ll reach fewer of the right people
- You’re more likely to be swayed by persuasive sales people instead of staying the course
- Your marketing will be less efficient
- Your business will grow more slowly, it at all
Now that I’ve managed to convince you that you DO need a written marketing plan, you’ll need to find the time, and make the effort to get something on paper.
Think of this plan as a map that’s your guide on a trip to an unfamiliar place. Your marketing plan is the roadmap you’ll use for the next year. It will help you present your brand, create an image or position your service without getting sidetracked. Not to say you won’t be able to respond to spur-of-the-moment opportunities… but you’ll do so when it makes sense, not because of a feeling of urgency or some high pressure sales pitch.
You can find some sample marketing plans online, and there are countless books on the subject. Software programs also offer templates you might use. If you truly feel out of your element, consider hiring a professional marketing consultant for this task. The valuable experience, fresh insight and real world approach of a marketing pro will be well worth the investment.
And that marketing plan will be worth its weight in gold.