They think that they shouldn't formalize everything like that and they're just family businesses or something like that. The owners of these businesses might not have any formal training in marketing careers and they don't realize the importance of the training. Regardless of whether you have had job in marketing or not, marketing should be at the forefront of your mind as a small business owner. Why exactly are business plans so important? There are several great pieces of information that a marketing plan can provide. Let's look at the specific areas in which it can help you.
One of the most important things that it can provide to you is knowledge about your target market. If you never formally identify who your target customers are, then you probably won't end up reaching them as effectively as you could. Knowing who you're aiming for is one of the most important aspects of business. Beyond that, you'll need to know what your secondary market is as well.
Another invaluable piece of information that you'll get from a marketing plan is information about your competition. While you want to focus on your own business more than the competition, it makes it a lot easier on you if you at least know the basics that the competitors have to offer. You need to know their pricing structures, their warranties, and how their products differ from yours. This way, when customers directly ask you about them, you'll have enough knowledge to answer them intelligently. It will help you avoid any situation where you just get blown out of the water by the competition.
You will also be able to identify your marketing objective. Regardless of whether you have a department full of people who hold marketing jobs or not, you'll need to specify your marketing objective. You should aim for a certain percentage of increase in your sales as well as other important criteria. It is important to have definable goals for your business. This way you'll know exactly what's working and what's not.
In this marketing plan, you'll also want to identify exactly what marketing tools you will utilize over the period of time. Are you going to use pay-per-click advertising? Will you build a flash website that tells your company's story? Will you use television or radio to reach your customers? What about the newspaper? There are a lot of different vehicles that you could use. Figuring out your marketing mix is essential to your success.
Overall, you don't have to have had any experience with job in marketing to make a marketing plan for your small business. Regardless of the size of the business, it is critical to plan out every aspect of your marketing. If you can sit down and make measurable goals for your marketing efforts, it will be much easier to determine what is worth the investment. Marketing isn't free and you should make sure that you're getting the most bang for your buck.