As a business owner if you want to scale up your small business you have to create a marketing plan. A lot of business owners feel a marketing plan is an activity only for big companies. This is completely wrong. If you want to grow your business a proper marketing plan is an absolute necessity. A proper marketing plan is essentially a road map for your future success.
Suggested Read: How to Write a Startup Business Plan Document
In this article, you will learn how to create a successful marketing plan for your small business for a financial year.
Here are the 5 Steps to Develop an Effective Marketing Plan
1. Summary of the plan
First, fix your goals. Fix what your sales turnover you would like to have this year. How much percentage of growth you want to achieve? To achieve the goal how much production you need to produce? Budget your marketing accordingly.
2. Analyze Present Marketing Scenario and SWOT analysis
You need to analyze wherefrom the sales will come. Take feedback from markets where you are going to sell your product. For example, you have three markets to concentrate on. Urban, semi-urban, and rural market. If you find stiff competition say in urban areas, you need to target semi-urban and rural areas.
To achieve this you need to strengthen your distribution reach. It all depends on your product niche. Find out your competitors. Who to avoid and whom to take seriously. Make a detailed SWOT( Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat) analysis of your products.
3. Set The Marketing Objectives
Here you are supposed to set meaningful objectives for the future. By meaningful I mean the objective should be smart, specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. Just merely saying we will grow our business won’t work. Do you need to be clear how much growth percentage you are projecting? Is it 5%,10%,20%?
You need to mention how you are going to increase sales volume. Now sales can be increased mainly either by price or by volume. If you find there is stiff competition and there is no extra value proposition you can offer in the product, concentrate on increasing volume sales.
Each of your marketing objectives must have clarity of what you intend to achieve with realistic figures to substantiate the objective description.
4. Marketing Strategy
Here you are going to set your target market, your product positioning. Create a comprehensive plan in deciding which target audience to cater to and how to reach them. Position your product according to your audience. Set your marketing mix in your marketing plan.
Have an elaborate plan regarding the product, price, distribution strategy, and promotional campaigns. You must include a production plan, distribution plan, and promotional plan in your marketing strategy plan.
5. Marketing Budget
It is impossible to fix the budget amount a small business should spend on marketing and advertising. Because it depends on a number of factors, including your goals, your projected sales, and your surplus revenue. However just to give an idea if you are opening a new business, you may need to inject more funds into the marketing budget.
A lot of marketing experts recommend that start-up businesses should devote between 20 and 25 percent of their total annual budget to advertising and marketing during the first and second years of operation. However if you have bought an existing business with goodwill, 8 to 10 percent of your total budget should be adequate.
It is always advised to take expert advice in creating a successful marketing plan for your small business. Never forget to have your financial reports (profit & loss statement, balance sheet, etc), list of all products and their sales reports, details of company personnel before writing a marketing plan. And finally, take feedback from your team where ever needed.