Most small business owners dedicate and spend considerable amount of money and effort achieving increase in their sales and net income. While these two are important factors that will lead to the increase in the value of one’s business, they are not the only significant dynamics that a small-scale business owner should look into. Before entrepreneurs make sales and win income, they should have solid business and marketing plans. If the business and marketing plans do not match or complement each other, the entrepreneur will face an abundance of pitfalls and troubles along the way. A business plan and a marketing plan should work interdependent with each other. And this is part of the challenge among entrepreneurs (whether they are just starting or have started but haven’t done a lot yet)!!
If you don’t have clearly-defined business goals and marketing objectives, it is like you are driving through a fog. Even though you have your headlights on, it is difficult to see a person passing by or let alone where you are heading to. Your business plan and marketing plan are very essential in your pursuit not only to close sales and gain income, but also to establish your authority and credibility in your chosen market or industry. These plans are your guides as this will provide you with direction and focus. All businesses should know that these plans will not only help them in organizing their operations, but will help set the benchmark for their success or failure in the future.
The Interdependency of Your Marketing Plan and Business Plan
You might already know by now that your marketing strategies can make or break the growth and value of your business. Even large-scale corporations and companies make it a point that they develop a solid marketing plan. As a small-scale business or company, you should be able to strongly bank or rely on your marketing plan. Your marketing objectives should match your business goals. However, before you discover the relationship between your business plan and marketing plan, you should first know the difference between the two. Again, remember, a marketing strategy that creates good harmony with the business plan will provide you (as the entrepreneur) with a sound and organized marketing mindset. The goals and objectives of your marketing plan should be aligned with the aims and purpose of your business.
Your business plan will provide the overview of your business. This will include your business’ mission and vision, coupled with information on staff, operations, location, marketing, and financial aspects. Contrary to the common knowledge that the business plan is only valuable when starting a new business, it should be considered important and effectively used throughout the lifespan of a business. It will not only help you to identify and implement competitive tactics (especially on the marketing area), but it will also determine whether your business’ actual activities and operations are congruent to the forecasted plan.
On the other hand, your marketing plan will detail the actions that you will perform in order to accomplish your business’ mission and vision. In this plan, you will discuss your business’ target markets, sales strategies, price points, promotions, competitions, and benefits. It will help explain how your business will overcome competitive challenges from other companies and how you generate leads or customers through advertisements, trade shows, and referrals. In short, it is your plan on how to get customers to know your business and buy your products or services instead of purchasing from your competitors. Actually, a marketing plan is part of your business plan. It is very detailed and it is the most time-consuming portion of your business plan. Your marketing plan should show how it will support in order to achieve your business goals.
Both the business plan and marketing plan should be consistent with each other- thus interdependent. While your business plan will identify your overall business goals and objectives, your marketing plan will explain how you will achieve the goals and objectives you have set (or in fortunate times exceed them). If you modify your business goals, you should simultaneously revamp your business course of action in marketing your products and/or services. A strong marketing plan should not deviate from the objectives or goals set in your business plan.
Ensuring Your Marketing Strategy Fits Your Business Goals
Small business marketing can either be just a walk in park for some or a very stressful phase for others. As a small-scale business entrepreneur, you will spend countless hours on end in searching for potential customers and improving business practices. Of course, the key here is for you to understand what marketing tactics you need to employ and settle with if you know it is right for your business goals (business plan) and your budget.
You need to make sure that you choose marketing techniques that fit your overall business goals and ultimately be consistent with it. In the log run, you will realize that sticking to a marketing strategy that coincides with your business plan will surely maximize your resources and budget. You will be able to generate more leads (potential customers), produce more results, increase product sales, and earn more revenue.
Business owners should always remember that there is no perfect marketing tactic. Small-scale entrepreneurs should examine their business plan and marketing tactics to determine the right fit. There are a number of marketing strategies that small-scale businesses can employ. As the owner, it is up to you to choose which ones match your business goals and plan as your marketing efforts will steer your business towards success or even to failure.
There are some small-scale businesses that employ Blanket Marketing. Although this is usually a practice of bigger companies or corporations, small business entrepreneurs could still use it as long as it fits his or her business objectives. Blanket marketing basically means that you will spend all your marketing funds on advertising your business to all target markets. It revolves on the premise of just market to any and everyone that it can. Usually, newspaper and magazine companies use this type of marketing strategy. Unless money is no object to you (I doubt!! Small-scale businesses are on tight budgets), blanket marketing has no control of its reach when it comes to marketing your products and/or services. However, it does have the advantage of reaching a wide consumer pool. The big disadvantage of this is the amount or cost that a business owner will face and handle. But then again, there are businesses that employ this marketing strategy.
Yet, the real point of marketing is reaching those consumers who will actually want to buy your products and/or services. Reaching your target market means you need to employ a marketing strategy that only focuses your marketing tactics there and not all over the place. Target marketing will likely increase interest and revenue by reaching the right buying audience. This may sound simple, but there are quite a number of small-scale business owners that deviates and direct to the route of blanket marketing. If your business plan is concentrated on a certain demographic, you need to employ targeted marketing. It is best to have a market on mind and work on reaching that target market.
Internet Marketing and Social Media Marketing are also useful for small-scale businesses. Social Media Marketing is used to promote your business by making your presence known in social media platforms (such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn). You can also do content marketing which is to develop and create relevant content to your websites and other content submission sites.
The bottom line is that you need to choose the marketing strategy that match your business goals and fit your business. Once you can figure out which marketing tactic to employ, you have to concentrate your energies there to have a good marketing mindset.