The reality is that many business owners are likely to experience, at some point, the Feast-or-Famine Syndrome: streaks of many well-paying clients followed by stretches of the doldrums with few paid clients in the pipeline.
Often times this syndrome can be cured with a successful marketing plan. Even if you already have a marketing plan, try to re-craft it using these seven points:
- Explain the purpose of your marketing. What results will you achieve for your business through your marketing efforts? Maybe you want to increase your market visibility, attain a certain market share in your industry, develop new business with existing clients, or launch a new service offering or products.
- Explain how you achieve that purpose by articulating the benefits you provide. Why are your services or products Why should clients choose you instead of a competitor? Spell out the substantive value you provide for clients.
- Describe your target market(s). Who do you want to reach with your marketing message? You might, for example, target specific industries, segments within an industry, or a particular business function.
- Describe your niche. What’s your specialty? Maybe you excel at improving employee productivity or at helping clients retain their best people by implementing career development programs or by providing strategies for business growth.
- Outline the marketing tactics you will use. How will you convey your message to your target market(s)? Select the marketing tools you’ll use, such as publishing, publicity, speaking, social media or direct mail, to name a few.
- Define the identity of your business. How do you want clients to think of you—supportive, innovative, collaborative, results-oriented, or generous with ideas? Identify the culture and reputation of your business.
- Quantify your marketing budget. How much will you invest in marketing? You can specify a dollar amount or you can commit a percentage of revenue from the business to marketing activities.
The process of creating your marketing plan will force you to make choices about the future of your business and about how to allocate your time and resources, especially if you are serious about achieving the objectives you’ve described in your plan.© Copyright 2013 Laureen Wishom