So You Don't Have a Business Plan - Why Not?

Written by Valerie Giles

"In today's world of business it is more important than ever to reach, connect and communicate with your customers, because if you aren't, someone else is," said Pauline Tonkin, Principal and Marketing Director of Hunter Marketing Group. This is especially true for a small or home based business trying to create a place for themselves in today's extremely competitive market. 

Looking atrepparttar big picture can be overwhelming. There's an endless supply of marketing options that small or home-based business can take advantage of, such as pres releases, telemarketing, ad mail, brochures, web sites, e-mail campaigns and much more. But without a solid plan, you're just be spinning your wheels.

The sad reality is thatrepparttar 144426 majority of small and home based businesses don't approach their marketing in a strategic way. They may promote their business without clearly identifying their target market, or regularly use marketing campaigns without monitoringrepparttar 144427 results.

Today we are bombarded with technology and new toolsfor reaching, connecting and communicating. But whenputting these new tools to work, remember thatrepparttar 144428 samebasic marketing principles still apply. Understandingand including these principles in your day-to-dayapproach to business is crucial to your success," said Tonkin.

In order to take your business torepparttar 144429 next level, a solid marketing plan is required. Marketing is basicallyrepparttar 144430 key function directed to your target market (customers) that addresses them specifically.

According to Tonkin, marketing communications fits into your overall marketing plan because it represents a collection of allrepparttar 144431 activities necessary to establish a consistent message to your customers. Although many of these activities can work well alone,repparttar 144432 best results are achieved when they are coordinated with other marketing activities.

This means that every customer directed activity is well defined within your marketing plan. That includes how you answerrepparttar 144433 phone, create mail, advertising or product packaging. It all must fit together to create a cohesive impression inrepparttar 144434 eyes of your customers. This consistent image should reflectrepparttar 144435 best aspects of your business and what you have to offer.

Before you can even begin to put together this cohesive image, you first must know your customers. How can you effectively communicate a message when you don't know whorepparttar 144436 message is directed at?

Don't just assume that you already know your target market, take a moment to ask yourselfrepparttar 144437 following key questions:

  1. Who are my customers?
  2. What do they need?
  3. Why will they buy my product or service?

Be Successful with an Effective Business Image

Written by Valerie Giles

Inrepparttar past, when someone maderepparttar 144425 decision to go into business for themselves, there was seldom a question of whether they would succeed. Many business people had no business plans, had done no market research or even understood good management skills. They just opened their doors and grew. Today,repparttar 144426 marketplace is much different. Competition is fierce. Businesses must compete daily in order to stand out fromrepparttar 144427 crowd, to be unique and to achieve brand recognition for their products and loyalty from their customers. It is not enough to know your business; you must be perceived to be successful, to providerepparttar 144428 best product or service, and to stand by your product. Not only must you know your business, you must have a business image that reflects this.

Many businesses get so caught up inrepparttar 144429 every day promoting and marketing of their products or services that they often neglect one very important item: a quality, consistent business image. Today, with so many businesses competing forrepparttar 144430 ever-shrinking consumer dollar, a professional image that stands out more than your competitor's becomes even more essential. It is important to be recognized in a consistently positive manner.

Because you may only get one chance to create a positive first impression, you want it to berepparttar 144431 very best one.

Where do you Start?

Working with a graphic design professional will ensure that you achieve a successful image. All of your marketing and corporate materials will be consistent and reflect your success.

Start with a Logo

Careful consideration must go into a logo design in order to achieverepparttar 144432 look you want. The type of business (including a home based business), profession and product will guide you in various directions. It is important to share your business expectations and market focus with your designer so she or he can better design an effective logo.

Deciding on a designer is important--someone who can relate to your business and to your competition, and someone who takesrepparttar 144433 time to find out about your business. A good designer asks a lot of questions before beginningrepparttar 144434 design process and should give you several good designs to choose from.

Good designers will keep in mindrepparttar 144435 ever-increasing uses for your logo. It must be adaptable for use not only on cards and letterhead, but on signage and perhapsrepparttar 144436 Internet. Your logo must be able to grow with your company.

Remember, your logo isrepparttar 144437 image you present torepparttar 144438 world - be sure it's an impressive one.

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