As marketing professionals, we know that small business owners make countless important decisions every day. We also know that they’re busy. With a never-ending task list and an overwhelming number of responsibilities, it’s not uncommon for small business owners to put marketing on the backburner so they can focus on running their business.
But marketing should never be a last resort.
Just like you would create a business plan to define the direction of your company, all business owners should create a marketing plan that serves as the roadmap to get to where they need to go.
Every small business needs to look ahead and determine how they will achieve their goals. By planning your marketing, you can avoid future uncertainties, achieve objectives, like growing your business, and ensure your customers are fully satisfied with your product or service.
Why else should you plan?
Planning your marketing provides focus and clarity.
As a small business owner, it can be tempting to pivot your focus on a regular basis at the first wind of a new opportunity. Although flexibility can be beneficial, a lack of focus often results in missed opportunities, or ones that are never being seen through to their full potential.
When you have a solid plan in place, you can ensure all your marketing ventures are in line with the direction of your business. This will result in successful marketing operations and will minimize the risk of failure.
Planning your marketing allows you to effectively manage resources.
When small business owners do not plan, they often do not establish a budget or a team for their marketing efforts. With a clear marketing and advertising plan, you can better balance your resources in relation to your identified market opportunities. From budgeting decisions to choosing between an internal team or outsourcing to a marketing agency, planning your marketing provides the framework you need to succeed.
Planning your marketing ensures consistency.
Small businesses that sporadically market themselves without a plan almost always struggle to capture leads and make sales. They tend to follow a “stop-start” nature to marketing where they allocate all their resources towards a marketing campaign and then fully stop their marketing activity once they win over a few customers. This creates an erratic sales pipeline that is not profitable over time.
We like to compare marketing efforts to a train. It takes a lot of effort and energy to get a train running at full speed. Once the train is stopped, it takes just as much effort to get it running at full speed again. The same is true with your marketing. If you halt all marketing efforts, don’t expect to be able to simply pick up where you left off when you’re in need of leads. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.
However, planning provides a comprehensive view of a small business and acts as a process of communication and coordination that prevents a reactive business environment that relies on gut instinct. Since planning forces you to reflect on the future in a systematic way, you can create a better roadmap with clear objectives that are consistently achieved over time.
Planning your marketing will help you stand out from your competitors and stay on top of business trends. With 2023 right around the corner, there’s no better time than now to start.
At Collective Alternative, we believe in Making Business Personal® by creating marketing solutions that aren’t one-size-fits-all. If you are interested in planning your marketing but aren’t sure where to start, our team can help strategically create and implement a comprehensive marketing strategy that aligns with your vision and goals. Schedule a FREE strategy session with us today!