Let’s be honest, writing a marketing plan isn’t all that fun. In fact, authoring a marketing plan is a lot of work. Because of these two things, most small business owners go without having a solid marketing plan in place.
Unfortunately, not having a marketing plan can end up hurting your business. Just like a business plan, a marketing plan acts like a road map for success to your business. When you don’t have one, here’s what can happen:
No Marketing Plan = No Boundaries
With no marketing plan, there are no boundaries for your business to adhere to. I see owners without a plan just aimlessly spending money on things they “think” will help them grow their business. I’ve seen everything from promotional coozies being bought to thousands of dollars in television advertising being bought with no clear plan for leveraging either spend. Which leads to the next problem…
No Marketing Plan = No Marketing Budget
When there is no written marketing plan, there is usually no marketing budget. This can lead to overspending and spending on items that don’t have an impact. Every marketing dollar you spend should have a goal attached to it.
No Marketing Plan = No Marketing Goals
Without a plan, many small business owners fail to define the business goals they want to achieve. Without clear goals, it is difficult to allocate marketing dollars correctly. When I ask clients what their goals are for their business I always hear “I want to grow the business.” That’s a good start but in order to accurately spend your budget dollars, you need to further define what that means. Do you want to acquire new clients? Leverage existing relationships? Increase the average spend of each client? The answer to those questions will drive how you spend your budget and help you realize your goals.
No Marketing Plan = Overwhelm
There are SO many ways to market your business now a days. Without a marketing plan it is easy to get overwhelmed with options and to spread yourself too thin. I see it happen all the time. Small business owners try to do too much with too small of a budget. They get overwhelmed by all the options and think if they do a little of everything it will make a difference. Sometimes that works, but many times it doesn’t. Having a clear marketing plan in place can really help you focus on implementing marketing tactics that make a difference, not just spinning your wheels to be everywhere all the time!
Thinking about getting a marketing plan in place can be overwhelming in and of itself! Keep in mind, your marketing plan should be a working document that changes as your business changes. Also, marketing plans come in different shapes and sizes. Some businesses need marketing plans that are really in-depth but for the average small business owner you don’t need to go crazy! You can create a simple marketing plan that contains:
- A budget
- Upcoming opportunities
- Marketing tactics aimed at achieving your goals
- To-do items
Keep it simple and you’ll see that writing a marketing plan doesn’t have to be painful!