Small businesses bring creativity, agility, and diversity to the market. They face various challenges, especially when it comes to marketing themselves.
Despite knowing you need to market your business to grow and succeed, something more pressing always demands your attention. Regardless of your best intentions, it is likely that you won’t have time to consider marketing once you’ve completed all the operational matters of running your business. That is, except when you are awake late, worrying about the lack of traction and sales.
Similar concerns are faced by many small businesses, including the need for more budget and resources to increase visibility to ensure that existing customers return and new customers are attracted. Add to that the need for consistent execution of marketing activities and keeping up with trends and technology, causing you to grab for the aspirins.
Nevertheless, with a little dedicated effort, you can develop a simple, focused marketing plan that will guide your efforts to reach your goals and market your business more effectively. Without a guiding strategy, everything is an opportunity, and too much time is spent copying what others are doing, even when it does not fit our needs.
No matter how simple, without a plan, you will probably waste a lot of time and money with little to show for it.
To get started, grab a pad and pen and work through these steps.
- Identify Your Goals – What do you want to achieve? The first step is often to make your business more visible to increase people’s awareness of what you offer.
- Develop Your Marketing Strategy – How will you achieve your goals? Do you want to create or improve your online presence? Based on your resource constraints, be practical about what you can and cannot do and where local experts might be able to help. Raising awareness through social media can be done by thinking of the narrative you want to tell and then finding examples that support it.
- Outline Your Activities – Determine what makes sense for the people you are trying to reach and what you can accomplish with your time and resources. For example, if you are a craftsman committed to quality, show some of your work on a visible social platform like Instagram.
- Create Your Activity Calendar – Create a realistic schedule that allows you to start small and ramp up when you have more time. You might post one a week on a social platform your potential audience uses. Or create a promotional email you send out once a quarter. You can achieve consistency in your marketing efforts by scheduling actions so that it becomes less an aspiration and more a task you can accomplish.
It is important to remember that marketing is not a one-time event but a process that must be consistently executed to succeed, just like any other aspect of the business. The number of marketing strategies and channels you have available can be overwhelming. It is for this reason that a simple marketing plan is so crucial to your business.
A simple marketing plan provides a clear roadmap for businesses to stay focused on their goals and objectives. As a result, the marketing effort is aligned with the business’s overall goals, preventing time and resources from being wasted.