The Basic Marketing Plan

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is​ an​ outstanding resource for the​ small business owner. Whether you​ are thinking of​ starting,​ or​ are already running your own company,​ it​ is​ one of​ the​ essential websites to​ visit for information and tips on​ nearly any issue that you​ are likely to​ come across.

Back to​ Basics

To increase your business,​ the​ SBA offers a​ “Tools” section that is​ extremely comprehensive and offers a​ wealth of​ advice. For example,​ a​ good marketing strategy is​ essential for any business to​ be successful so the​ SBA emphasizes the​ importance of​ a​ sound marketing plan. Three basic features to​ include in​ your business marketing plan are:

(1) Description of​ the​ business

The description of​ a​ business encompasses a​ number of​ items; for example,​ staffing,​ company profile,​ industry overview and more,​ and should be as​ detailed as​ possible. This is​ essential to​ help you​ to​ establish what the​ unique selling point or​ USP is. This will be what puts you​ above your competition,​ and as​ such,​ your USP will involve analyzing the​ competitors’ products and their methods of​ promotion.

The key to​ define your USP is​ to​ perform as​ much research as​ possible at​ this stage to​ really give your business the​ edge. And regardless of​ the​ size of​ your company and your location there are numerous opportunities for research. the​ local Yellow Pages are a​ good place to​ start your search for competitors. And the​ Internet also gives you​ a​ valuable insight as​ to​ what is​ available in​ your area as​ well as​ in​ other geographic locations.

(2) Definition of​ customers

Your customers are the​ most important part of​ your business. Without them you​ have no business. So it​ is​ important to​ narrow down who your customers currently are and who you​ want to​ target in​ the​ future. This will help you​ assess how you​ need to​ promote your products and services.

Also assess the​ qualities that keep your existing customers ordering from you. you​ can then use this information to​ discover what you​ need to​ develop to​ attract new customers.

To attract new customers and bring back previous clients,​ there are many popular means of​ advertising like classifieds,​ direct mail,​ online promotions,​ etc. However,​ keep in​ mind the​ one that is​ often underestimated is​ the​ power of​ ‘word of​ mouth.’ Happy customers are likely to​ tell others about your company but so are unhappy ones. So use surveys if​ you​ need to​ so that you​ can get feedback regularly and monitor how your company is​ doing.

(3) Finalization of​ plan and budget

Finally,​ you​ reach the​ stage where you​ are ready to​ begin finalizing your marketing plan and your budget. There may be so many marketing plans and strategies that you​ want to​ address,​ but realize it​ is​ impossible to​ do so within the​ constraints of​ most budgets. So you​ need to​ prioritize where you​ will spend your money.

To help out,​ there are low cost methods of​ assessing the​ effectiveness of​ current marketing campaigns and project results or​ ROI (return on​ investment) via new avenues of​ advertising. For example you​ can use tracking links and special promotional codes,​ both with offline and online marketing,​ to​ monitor response rates and sales.

In addition,​ the​ Internet offers many areas of​ promotion that are free,​ including discussion boards and link exchanges with complimentary businesses or​ services. it​ can very well be worth spending time investigating other avenues at​ no charge before spending your budgeted dollars on​ any one particular method of​ advertising before testing it​ online here first.

Helpful Marketing Plan Resources

For more help with your marketing plans,​ you​ can head to​ the​ SBA website,​ chock full of​ plenty of​ suggestions and useful links to​ give your business marketing plan the​ best chance of​ success. Contact them at:

SBA Answer Desk
6302 Fairview Road,​ Suite 300
Charlotte,​ North Carolina 28210
1-800-U-ASK-SBA (1-800-827-5722)
Send e-mails to:
Answer Desk TTY: (704) 344-6640
Visit them online at:

For more help,​ grab a​ copy of​ “MAP: Moving Ahead Plan,​” an​ easy all-in-one business,​ marketing and advertising plan jam-packaged with lots of​ information. the​ new book features tips,​ downloadable tools,​ SBA-based worksheets and special sections from Tom Hua’s eBookWholesaler™ online program and Internet Marketing Expert Willie Crawford to​ and more to​ advance your business. It’s available at​ or​ check soon with and (Barnes and Noble) and your local library.

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