If you own a small business or work from home, you may have asked yourself how you can grow your business and keep with corporations and other large companies in your area. The answer is multifaceted and includes a number of different techniques and strategies, all revolving around making a quality and well thought out marketing plans.
Marketing plans are critically important because they provide you with a list of critical details about your company and your customers. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make a marketing plan which works for you.
- Know your company inside and out
- Utilize specific marketing like SEO and social media platforms
- Set up actionable goals and stick with them
Identify Your Products And Services
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s critically important for you to identify what you’re selling, whether it be a product or service, and why. There are thousands of products and services in your local area alone, so why should your customers come to you? What’s special about what you’re offering? \
Understanding the answers to these questions will help you refine your marketing campaign and speak to a more specialized and specific segment of the population, which will in turn raise your number of units sold and your profits. Keep in mind the value you’re adding for your customers, the function of your product or service, and the need your filling in the lives of those who buy what you’re selling.
Who Are Your Target Markets?
Once you have a great grasp of what you’re selling and why it matters in the lives of your customers, you’ll next need to as yourself: who are your customers, exactly? This is another seemingly simple step, but one with a great deal of depth and importance. You should know everything about the demographic you’re selling to, beginning with choosing just one demographic to begin with.
Many small businesses make the mistake of starting too big, selling to everyone and anyone who will listen without finding their niche in the market. You can avoid this pitfall by asking yourself where your customers live, what their needs are on a daily basis, and how they behave around themselves and others. Why are they shopping with you rather than a competitor?
Craft Your Mission Statement
At this point, you know exactly who you are, what your company does and why, and who you’re trying to sell to first and foremost. At this point, it’s time to craft a comprehensive and compelling mission statement. A mission statement is a statement or document which professes your company’s values and relates them back to what you’re selling.
Your mission statement pertains to your company’s overarching goals for itself, both in terms of its revenues and in terms of the impact it’s making on the world for the better. You should use your brand identity and company culture to help craft this statement and look to it whenever you’re at a crossroads.
Start To Utilize SEO
When you’ve finished laying the finishing touches on your mission statement, you’re generally done with the absolute fundamentals of your business. However, you’re not done crafting your marketing strategy yet. There are a number of specific marketing tools you should look into in order to garner attention and make sure people are seeing your company in the real world.
The most important of these, oftentimes, is SEO, or search engine optimization. SEO is a method of attracting users to your website and online advertisements and content. In order to truly utilize SEO, you need a website with plenty of quality, consistent content. This content should position your company as knowledge and helpful in your industry; that way, anyone who comes to your website will know you’re a trusted source of information.
Being Active With Social Media Marketing
In conjunction with SEO, you should market on social platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. This strategy will help connect you with more people and help you sell more products and services to those who truly care about your company and want to connect with you as well. You should stay active on these web platforms and make sure people know the various events and product releases of your company.
These will help bolster communication and create further connections between you and the public. The number one rule of social media marketing is to engage with customers. Don’t just passively create messages, be active and engaging on these sites. In addition, you should realize that each site is different, and that you should craft unique messages depending on which site you’re using.
Create Actionable And Specific Goals
Another large mistake small businesses commonly make is to think too wide or too big within their first few years of existence. A small business is like a plant; it needs plenty of attention and nurturing to grow, which it will do slowly and steadily.
You should craft goals which can actually be met and realized, while be specific enough to be helpful to your overall goal. For example, you should have growth metrics which you use on a daily basis to know if your company is growing online and in real revenue. Keep track of these goals and always be looking create subdivisions of your goals.
Keep Track Of Your Plan
Finally, the last thing you should be doing, though by no means the least important, is sticking with your goals and numbers and metrics. You should know if you’re having a “better” or “worse” month than the previous month and the months before that through a number of metrics which you can choose early and carefully.
Google Analytics can help you in this area by giving you a number of stats and figures which you can track every day, watching as your company grows throughout the year. Growing a small business is slow and steady work, it takes vigilance and a desire to see your initial passion through, until you’re on your feet and selling to more customers than you ever imagined.