Building a business that grows steadily in size and profits is like building your dream house. First, you identify what kind of home you want, then you and your architect plan and create blueprints for your house, then you'd build it, move in and enjoy it.
N0w imagine that you didn't have time to plan your home but went ahead and hired a builder to get started. How would he know what to build? Without a plan, result would be unlikely to meet your needs and you'd have wasted a lot of time and money.
Everyday I get calls from frustrated owners of small businesses. Their marketing isn't helping them generate a steady stream of new clients or bring in revenue that they think they should be making.
My conversation with Ken, from Toronto, was typical. I asked Ken to describe his business and his business goals. I asked him to tell me about his target market and what he is doing to market his business.
He easily described his technological and design expertise, his Web services and ads and mailings he was using to promote his business. Then I asked question that stumps almost everyone who calls me for advice: I asked Ken if he had a marketing plan and what it was. He didn't have one.
You know what your goals are and where you want to take your business. You also know that marketing involves activities such as building a web site, mailings, advertising and phone calls to prospects. But without a plan tying these efforts together, these activities by themselves may do little to help you achieve your goals.
You need a well thought out blueprint for your marketing, just as you would for your dream home.
Here's how to start putting your marketing plan together.
1. Identify Your Marketing Goals What specifically does your marketing need to achieve for your business to grow? You can state this in terms of number of qualified leads generated each week, percentage of leads converted to s.ales, total revenue, and profit.