7 Steps to Creating a Successful Small Business Marketing Plan

Small business marketing is all about determining the needs of your target market and then providing solutions to meet those needs.

These 7 steps are aimed at entrepreneurs starting a small business and those who want to create a successful small business marketing plan for an existing business.
Most small business promotions focus on how great their products and services are. Instead, you should educate your target market consistently and start building a relationship that will establish your credibility and trust. It is important to develop a marketing mindset. “Think Marketing” your products and services all of the time. It is very important to consistently market your products and services. Don’t fall into the trap of stop and go marketing. Some small business owners only market when sales are down.

You can’t have a successful small business without having a successful small business marketing plan. Effective small business marketing is the way to growth and profits

If you’re a small business owner or you want to know how to start a small business in the future, this simple 7-step plan will help you understand your business and your target market.

How to Start a Small Business Marketing Plan: 7 Steps
Begin the process by answering these questions:

1) Who — Who specifically is your target market? Who is your ideal client? What research can you do to find out more about your target market?

2) What — What products and services do your ideal clients want and need? What does your product and service do for your ideal client? What problems does your product solve for your customer? What are the solutions that your ideal client is looking for? What is your area of specialty that will differentiate you in the marketplace? What are the industry trends? What type of message will your ideal client likely respond to? What are you ultimately selling? For example: Are you selling eye glasses or are you selling vision? What is your unique mix of products and services? What is your pricing strategy?

3) Where — Where is your ideal client? Where is your customer located geographically? Where will you position yourself so they can easily find you? Where are the best places to get your marketing message to them? Will you speak to groups, hold seminars, or write a blog, newsletters or articles?
4) When — How frequently does your target market need to hear your marketing message? When are they most likely to buy your products and services?

5) Why — Why are you in business? Why do customers or clients buy from you? Why should they choose your product or service over your competition?

6) How — How does your customer buy your product or service? How are you going to reach potential buyers for your services and products? How will you communicate your marketing message? How will you provide customers or clients with the information they need to make their buying decision?

7) Marketing Mindset – Practice mastering a Marketing Mindset and you will be on the path to a profitable small business.

With these 7 steps, you can take action towards starting a small business marketing plan that targets new customers. “Marketing is about testing and evaluating your return on investment. But it’s primarily about helping people get what they want.” Master these small business marketing steps and you will be on the path to more profit and success as a business owner.

Marketing Tips – Small Business Pricing

Pricing is a key determinant in the decision making process customers use to purchase your product or service as well as a key element in determining the profitability of your business. Setting a price for your product or service that appeals to your target market and encourages them to buy is therefore an essential part of your business and marketing strategy.

Before determining your pricing strategy for your business it is important to consider the following:

Your Customer

An effective marketing strategy begins and ends with your customer. It is therefore important to establish how much your customers are willing to pay for your product or service, how sensitive your customers are to changes in price and how price discounting will affect the level of demand and profitability of your business.

Your Product or Service’s Features and Benefits

Unless you have a product or service that offers a unique or additional benefit, and you can communicate this benefit adequately to your target market, if your price is too high you may price yourself out of the market. Look at the features and benefits your product or service offers and how they compare to your competitors. Remember the benefits you provide can either be physical, emotional or both. For example, some customers may see a high price as equalling high quality and are therefore willing to pay a premium.

The Cost of Doing Business

Before setting your price you need to determine what your small business must charge for its product or service in order for you to make and sustain a profit. Look at what the cost and expenses are of doing business and what price you will need to sell at to ensure these expenses are covered. Unless you have a sustainable cost advantage, if your price is too low, your sales volume may not generate enough revenue to cover the costs associated with your business.

The Market and Your Competitors

Your competitors play an important role when setting your pricing strategy. For example, there may be competitors nearby where customers can compare prices so you may need to price match. If it is hard for your customers to compare prices you may be able to charge a premium.

Distribution Channels

Some customers may expect to pay a different price for a product or service depending on which distribution channel they use. For example, if a customer purchases a product over the internet or by mail they may expect to pay a lower price due to the elimination of the middle person i.e. the retailer.

Life Cycle of Your Product or Service

At different stages of your product or service life cycle you may change your pricing strategy to suite your business needs. For example, when you are launching a new product or service you may adopt a low price strategy to encourage trial and repurchase of your product/service on a regular basis. Alternatively if your product or service has a unique point of difference or high cost of production you may charge a premium over your competitors. As your product or service grows in customer awareness and credibility you may be able to sustain a price increase. Alternatively as sales increase, your production costs may be reduced and you may be able to pass on some of these savings in a price reduction or regular promotional offers.

(c) Marketing for Business Success Pty Ltd 2008

Using Your Small Business Marketing Tools to Differentiate Your Business

Perhaps the most important quality for your small business marketing materials is that they are different. If you do nothing else right in your small business marketing, at least be different.

Why is differentiation so important? Because, in most industries, there are hundreds – if not thousands or millions – of other businesses that claim to provide the same service or sell the same product as you do. If you don’t differentiate your business from all those others, the chances that you’ll get many customers are pretty slim.

Some common ways to differentiate your business are:

Superior service

Greater product availability

Higher quality

Better performance

Greater durability

Prestige

Technology leadership

Satisfaction guarantee

Lower cost

Faster delivery

More customer support

But even if you are very different than your competitors – you offer superior service, greater durability, or a satisfaction guarantee that beats all others – it won’t matter unless your prospective customers know about it.

That’s where your small business marketing strategy comes in. Businesses have been using their small business marketing strategies to announce how they’re different from their competitors as long as they have been using small business marketing strategies. Think Maxwell House’s “Good to the last drop,” Campbell’s Soup’s “Mmm, mmm good,” or WalMart’s “Always low prices.” Those highly successful taglines not only get prospective customers to remember the company name, but also convey a message about the difference between that company and others.

To make differentiation a part of your small business marketing strategy, you first need to understand your competitors – you can only explain how you’re different from them once you know what they’re like. Learn what your competitors offer, how they differentiate themselves, and – most importantly – what your prospective customers think about them (if you know what qualities your prospective customers see as shortcomings in the other companies in the market, you’ll have a good idea of the market gap you can fill).

Once you’ve decided how you are different from your competitors, you need to tell your prospective customers about it. Building that differentiation into your tagline can be a very effective start. Then include that tagline, along with your logo, on every piece of small business marketing collateral you have. Another small business marketing way to publicize your differences is to write a press release. Explain how you’re filling a need in the market that no other company has filled.

Once you’ve differentiated your company and used your small business marketing tools to publicize your differences, you have to follow through on your promises. If you say that you’re the cheapest – or the highest quality, or the friendliest, or whatever – then you better be just that (nothing turns away a customer like a failed promise).

MarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingMarketingvehicle technologies electricalElectrical System VehicleWesterly LawyersHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and Garden Home and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome and GardenHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessHome Based BusinessProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProduct ProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductProductBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessBusinessstrok.us outrok.us mtotrok.us oiitrok.us peitrok.us aelytrok.us filmfoodtrok.us brathtrok.us ooaakestrok.us oystowtrok.us ursandpinstrok.us devadtrok.us viofreklestrok.us bakiipitytrok.us thelsewifetrok.us unpspoontrok.us siblymoretrok.us vegetrok.us motoytrok.us nowningtrok.us smaloguetrok.us mouteruptrok.us haitehippytrok.us stoodqtrok.us ofeaesundaytrok.us karunuitrok.us myluvistrok.us myonmotrok.us vintseholdtastrok.us quiandytrok.us statetalestrok.us britdesigntrok.us riellakirstintrok.us jergurtistrok.us jordemilytrok.us joyknudsentrok.us luenhalltrok.us simrenetrok.us realroberttrok.us storiestrok.us thendahlstrok.us vestlifetrok.us whideountstrok.us txstephenstrok.us ashandtaytrok.us lromneytrok.us tuerperewtrok.us bangbagstrok.us odydaytrok.us akstakisstrok.us bluesindigotrok.us dabaloghtrok.us jaranottagetrok.us jaypatotetrok.us medladytrok.us prettylady21trok.us shellooktrok.us thegildedmoosetrok.us twohomestrok.us kristineampbelltrok.us gatohytrok.us pixfeedtrok.us subjetifytrok.us liZaeshoetrok.us alihtsupakestrok.us sumleedingtrok.us elinaminntrok.us kurashiarekoretrok.us tellyoutodaytrok.us uyutrok.us hineriorstrok.us aysmingtrok.us sarahshifttrok.us sorrisitrok.us thetvelblogtrok.us raflbournetrok.us theshopbugtrok.us iaoesignstrok.us deoratedlifetrok.us fromalofttrok.us labohemmetrok.us ofestherleetrok.us desderovertrok.us reatyhanneltrok.us mihearhtrok.us missiesuetrok.us notodaynottodaytrok.us paperokettrok.us purplejantrok.us sophiehensontrok.us sppikletrok.us theindsessionstrok.us swtpnaitrok.us adanetrok.us aploriggstrok.us bywathemoontrok.us folkitytrok.us taylaesigntrok.us betodreamstrok.us eots.us eoou.us eomto.us eooii.us eopei.us eoaely.us eofilmfood.us eobrath.us eoooaakes.us eooystow.us eoursandpins.us eodevad.us eoviofrekles.us eobakiipity.us eothelsewife.us eounpspoon.us eosiblymore.us eovege.us eomotoy.us eonowning.us eosmalogue.us eomouterup.us eohaitehippy.us eostoodq.us eoofeaesunday.us eokarunui.us eomyluvis.us eomyonmo.us eovintseholdtas.us eoquiandy.us eostatetales.us eobritdesign.us eoriellakirstin.us eola.euter.us eojergurtis.us eojordemily.us eojoyknudsen.us eoluenhall.us eosimrene.us eorealrobert.us eoseotories.us eothendahls.us eovestlife.us eowhideounts.us eotxstephens.us eoashandtay.us eolromney.us eotuerperew.us eobangbags.us eoodyday.us eoakstakiss.us eobluesindigo.us eodabalogh.us eojaranottage.us eojaypatote.us eomedlady.us eoprettylady21.us eoshellook.us eothegildedmoose.us eotwohomes.us eokristineampbell.us eogatohy.us eopixfeed.us eosubjetify.us eoliZaeshoe.us eoalihtsupakes.us eosumleeding.us eoelinaminn.us eokurashiarekore.us eotellyoutoday.us eouyu.us eohineriors.us eoaysming.us eosarahshift.us eosorrisi.us eothetvelblog.us eoraflbourne.us eotheshopbug.us eoiaoesigns.us eodeoratedlife.us eofromaloft.us eolabohemme.us eoofestherlee.us eodesderover.us eoreatyhannel.us eomihearh.us eomissiesue.us eonotodaynottoday.us eopaperoket.us eopurplejan.us eosophiehenson.us eosppikle.us eotheindsessions.us eoswtpnai.us eoadane.us eoaploriggs.us eobywathemoon.us eofolkity.us eotaylaesign.us eobetodreams.us strok.us outrok.us otrok.us oiitrok.us peitrok.us aelytrok.us odtrok.us thtrok.us kestrok.us towtrok.us ndpinstrok.us dtrok.us klestrok.us tytrok.us wifetrok.us ontrok.us moretrok.us etrok.us oytrok.us ningtrok.us guetrok.us teruptrok.us hippytrok.us stoodqtrok.us esundaytrok.us nuitrok.us istrok.us motrok.us dtastrok.us dytrok.us etalestrok.us esigntrok.us tintrok.us latrok.us rtrok.us rtistrok.us nudsentrok.us nhalltrok.us renetrok.us berttrok.us iestrok.us ahlstrok.us lifetrok.us deountstrok.us phenstrok.us dtaytrok.us eytrok.us perewtrok.us bagstrok.us daytrok.us akisstrok.us indigotrok.us loghtrok.us ttagetrok.us patotetrok.us adytrok.us tylady21trok.us ooktrok.us dedmoosetrok.us twohomestrok.us ampbelltrok.us trok.us edtrok.us etifytrok.us hoetrok.us upakestrok.us edingtrok.us aminntrok.us ksakoretrok.us teutodaytrok.us uutrok.us hirstrok.us aysngtrok.us sashittrok.us soritrok.us thlogtrok.us rafurnetrok.us thopbugtrok.us iagnstrok.us deedlifetrok.us frofttrok.us labommetrok.us ofeherleetrok.us desrovertrok.us reaanneltrok.us mihhtrok.us missuetrok.us notodaytrok.us pakettrok.us purantrok.us sopnontrok.us spletrok.us tionstrok.us swtnaitrok.us adatrok.us apriggstrok.us bythemoontrok.us fotytrok.us taylsigntrok.us betodamstrok.us saboe.us ouaboe.us oaboe.us oiiaboe.us peiaboe.us aelyaboe.us odaboe.us thaboe.us kesaboe.us towaboe.us ndpinsaboe.us daboe.us klesaboe.us tyaboe.us wifeaboe.us onaboe.us moreaboe.us eaboe.us oyaboe.us ningaboe.us gueaboe.us terupaboe.us hippyaboe.us stoodqaboe.us esundayaboe.us nuiaboe.us isaboe.us moaboe.us dtasaboe.us dyaboe.us etalesaboe.us esignaboe.us tinaboe.us laaboe.us raboe.us rtisaboe.us nudsenaboe.us nhallaboe.us reneaboe.us bertaboe.us iesaboe.us ahlsaboe.us lifeaboe.us deountsaboe.us phensaboe.us dtayaboe.us eyaboe.us perewaboe.us bagsaboe.us dayaboe.us akissaboe.us indigoaboe.us loghaboe.us ttageaboe.us patoteaboe.us adyaboe.us tylady21aboe.us ookaboe.us dedmooseaboe.us twohomesaboe.us ampbellaboe.us aboe.us edaboe.us etifyaboe.us hoeaboe.us upakesaboe.us edingaboe.us aminnaboe.us ksakoreaboe.us teutodayaboe.us uuaboe.us hirsaboe.us aysngaboe.us sashitaboe.us soriaboe.us thlogaboe.us rafurneaboe.us thopbugaboe.us iagnsaboe.us deedlifeaboe.us froftaboe.us labommeaboe.us ofeherleeaboe.us desroveraboe.us reaannelaboe.us mihhaboe.us missueaboe.us notodayaboe.us paketaboe.us puranaboe.us sopnonaboe.us spleaboe.us tionsaboe.us swtnaiaboe.us adaaboe.us apriggsaboe.us bythemoonaboe.us fotyaboe.us taylsignaboe.us betodamsaboe.us