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Mar
29

40 Days to a Better Business: Day 31 – Why Your Business Needs a Marketing Plan

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40 Days to a Better Business

by Lori Twichell

No matter who you are or what the size of your company is, a marketing plan is always a good idea. It’s far more necessary than most people realize. Often, marketing is the last thing people consider when starting or growing their business. People tend to get so wrapped in what they are working on, creating it or maintaining it, that they expect the product will stand for itself. There’s an inherent assumption that all the time and effort you’ve spent building it will automatically turn into buzz. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

The most important reason that every business needs to have a marketing plan is that it helps us to solidify and clarify our goals. If you have a plan, you have not only clear end goals, but a path you can follow to get to those goals. This also allows you to measure opportunities that come your way and see if they fit into those plans or if they’ll get you to the end goal. It’s easy to get dazzled by someone else’s ideas and get excited about what they can do for you. If you don’t have a plan, it’s possible to get wrapped up in those ideas and get distracted from your own goals. A plan gives you a constant reference and measuring stick that you can use to help keep your business – and you – on track.

A marketing plan also help you understand your business from not only an owner’s perspective, but from your customer or client’s perspective. Putting together an effective plan requires you to understand your business, your audience, and how to reach that audience. This is invaluable information for any business owner to always have in mind. It’s pretty much impossible to get the word out to your audience if you aren’t sure who the audience is or what they would need from your business.

With a good, detailed plan, you learn about your business from the outside in rather than the inside out. You can fine tune your marketing message, branding, and make choices that will continue to move you toward you’re the end goals you’ve set for your business. An effective marketing plan will give you a reference manual for your business that includes a tagline, a mission statement (even if only for yourself), and a customer/audience profile. This encourages you to learn more about how to effectively share your business with those around you.

The final thing that a marketing plan offers you is control. It sounds strange to think that a business you own or manage might not be under your control but that’s very much the reality if you don’t have a good marketing plan in place. If you have a solid plan, you’ll be able to handle customer service issues, questions or problems that come along and you’ll be able to fine tune your message for your customers.

Without a proactive plan, this becomes, by default, a reactionary plan. Your company is then subject to responding to other people’s feedback about your business. It’s similar to offense vs. defense in football. Though you can score when your defense is on the field, their primary goal is responding/reacting to what the other team is doing. When you’re the offense, you have a plan for how to get to the end zone and score a touchdown.

If building a marketing plan is outside your comfort level, then don’t be afraid to talk to a professional. Sometimes a short consultation is all it will take to help you focus your goals, thoughts, and plans in the correct direction and get your business moving ahead!  Whatever you do, don’t just leave your marketing to chance! 

 

Miss any posts from 40 Days To a Better Business? Read the entire series here.

Learn more about starting your own business HERE!

 

About Lori Twichell

Lori Twichell is the owner of Beyond The Buzz Marketing. When Lori got out of college she got a job writing copy for radio commercials. One day she got an idea and shared it with the boss.

A few weeks later she was in a parade leading a band of listeners playing musical lollipops. A week after that, she had her own radio show. It’s all gone uphill (or downhill depending on your view) since then.

Within months she was marketing the number one best selling movie of 2000 (as voted by the VSDA) and since then has worked with Lifetime, the US Air Force, US Navy, and a variety of celebrities and products.

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