Guide to Starting and Operating a Small Business | 2018 Guide to Starting and Operating a Small Business - Page 45

9 Marketing Your Business What is Marketing? Simply defined, marketing is communicating the right message (appropriate & meaningful) to the right people (customer groups) at the right time (consistently and persistently) and in the best ways (channels used by customers). Developing and implementing a marketing/communication strategy is a necessary process for a successful business. It begins as you start your business and is critical throughout the life of your business. To be effective it must be organized into a plan with activities scheduled on a calendar throughout the year (especially important for a seasonal product or business). Marketing Includes: • Product (or Service) • Price • Placement (Distribution) • Promotion • Sales • Positioning • Research Here is a fun example of the difference between marketing, advertising and public relations: "If a young man tells his date she's intelligent, looks lovely, and is a great conversationalist, he's saying the right things to the right person and that's marketing. If the young man tells his date how handsome, smart and successful he is -- that's advertising. If someone else tells the young woman how handsome, smart and successful her date is -- that's public relations." S.H. Simmons, author and humorist Marketing Plan Having a plan is important because it provides a roadmap for where you are going. A good marketing plan involves much more than advertising and sales. It needs to define specific goals that are tied to sales and profitability. • Measurable Goals – A “Dream with a Deadline” We often talk about beginning with an end in mind, (Stephen Covey) and your measurable goals for this plan are what you should be thinking about. Are you trying to bring in 5 new customers a day, 10 clients a month or $100K a year? Whatever your goal is it needs to be measurable. • Market Analysis – Prove that you have market potential Start an industry/market analysis to understand the playing field – customer needs and wants, economic forces, competitors, unique competitive advantages. This is the foundation that you build your marketing plan on. • Marketing Strategy – How you’re going to achieve those goals Strategy and tactics designed to accomplish goals within the marketplace… Your strategy is the step- by-step plan you will take to reach those goals. • Budget – Budget drives marketing tactics you can afford A realistic and effective budget – where are marketing dollars put to best use? • Implementation Schedule – Putting your strategy in place A timeline or schedule for implementation can be as important as the action items themselves. 43