Monday, March 23, 2009

Business Marketing: 5 Simple Steps to Building a Marketing Plan

All successful businesses have a solid business plan, a loan proposal, and a marketing plan. A marketing plan is a map to your customers. Here are five steps to building a marketing plan:

Identify the Product or Service

Why will people buy your product? Focus on 1 or 2 items that distinguish you from your competitors, quality, convenience, and price; whatever is the most important to your customers. Define your market and position your product. Who are your customers? Where are your customers? What type of marketing will reach your customers? How will you price your product? One method is to pick a price and watch what happens. The market will tell you if you need to make an adjustment.

Identify how you fit in your Industry

Identify your strengths and weaknesses and the opportunities and threats that could impact your business. Do not ignore reality; everyone has weaknesses; identifying them is an opportunity to fixing the problem. Focus on the ones that you can change. Recognize opportunities that can come up and define how you plan to take advantage of them. Be aware of possible threats, including economic conditions, changes in legislation, trends and technology.

Market Goals

What are your goals? Concentrate most on your early goals, but also define goals for the future. Write down your short term goals – where you will be in the next 30 days to 6 months; your mid-term goals – what things are like in 6 months to one year; and your long-term goals – your achievement in 1 – 5 years. Don’t bother to set goals any further ahead than this for now; goals will likely need to be adjusted when you see how things really go.

Strategies and Tactics

How will you accomplish your goals? What do you have to do to set the wheels in motion to move toward your short-term, mid-term and long-term goals? What actions and strategies must you employ to be successful?

Create Measuring Devices

You need to set deadlines for reaching certain milestones to be used in determining if you are on track in meeting your expectations and accomplishing the goals that you have set. This way, you will know if you are moving far enough in the right direction to do what you have set out to do.

A great marketing plan is the key to your success. It is a document that you prepare for yourself to refer to often. Simple is better; make sure it is clear and concise, easy to read and easy to comprehend.

Bill Bartmann has over 40 years experience in business; he has built 7 businesses in 7 industries. Bill Bartmann’s Billionaire Business Systems is an online course that describes, in detail, how to create a Business Plan, a Marketing Plan and a Loan Proposal. Bill Bartmanns program walks the entrepreneur on a path to business ownership, from getting started to growing and expanding a successful business. Visit to learn more.