Small business owners are always busy, so often don’t want to spend precious time on “theoretical” things like planning and strategy. Especially as these sort of things end up hidden away in a drawer somewhere, completely forgotten about. But having a good marketing strategy is vital for your small business.
Also, putting together a marketing strategy doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming, and having one will make your life a lot easier. By setting out your strategy from the start, you’ll save lots of time and also get better results.
Why do you need a marketing strategy for your small business?
1. To help you understand your customers
An important part of your marketing strategy includes doing some research into your ideal customers. Not only will this help you work out who you should be targeting your marketing towards, it will also help you understand exactly what your customers want. You can
- streamline your services or update your products so they suit your customers,
- figure out which platforms are best for advertising and marketing so you can reach potential customers,
- stand out from your competitors by finding a niche customer base.
Creating a marketing strategy which is focused on your ideal customer will help you target your products to the right people, rather than spending months (or even years) marketing your product towards people who aren’t even interested in it.
2. To help you identify your competitors
Creating a good marketing strategy also gives you the chance to find out more about your competitors. Do some research to find out who your main competitors are. Take a look at their strengths and weakness to see what you could learn from them, and what you could do better.
This will also allow you to position yourself in the market to stand out from your competitors. What do you offer that they don’t? Why would customers be attracted to your business instead of theirs?
3. To help you set goals for your business
Another benefit of creating a marketing strategy is being able to set goals for your small business. Your plan should include specific, measurable goals which can be achieved through marketing your business. Don’t forget to set timeframes too.
This will help you to outline what you want to accomplish, as well as giving you a plan for how and when you’re going to achieve this. By using measurable goals and a specific timeframe, this allows you to keep track of how well your business is doing. Rather than bumbling along without really thinking about your strategy, you can see if your marketing is working or if there’s anything you need to change.
4. To help you focus on running your business
Having a marketing strategy in place will not only help with theoretical planning, but it will also help with the day-to-day running of your business. It will allow you to allocate your resources and budget in the correct places, create weekly or monthly action plans to align with your goals, and help you set milestones and goals in order to motivate you and your team.
By having the strategy already mapped out, you can focus on running your business without having to worry about marketing theories – you’ll already know how to market your business in order to achieve what you want!
How do you create a small business marketing strategy?
1. Map out your goals
Using all the points mentioned above, work out what is most important for your business, what you want to achieve and how you want to achieve it. This will form the basis of your marketing strategy.
The process of creating a marketing strategy from scratch might seem like a scary prospect, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Tailor it to your needs, map out your goals and include strategies which are relevant to your business.
2. Use a marketing strategy template
If you don’t feel confident creating a marketing strategy completely on your own, use a template to get you started. You can find lots of marketing strategy templates online – try to find one that’s relevant to your industry, your products or services and your ideal customers.
Business Gateway Scotland offer a helpful digital marketing strategy tutorial with downloadable template to give you some ideas.
3. Ask for help
Creating a marketing strategy might seem difficult and time consuming, but it doesn’t have to be. You can come up with a good marketing strategy within just a couple of hours, as long as you’re focused and know exactly what you want to achieve.
Spending a few hours creating this now will save you lots of time later on, as you won’t have to be constantly trying to figure out the best way to do your marketing. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when creating your marketing strategy. Sit down with a professional and talk through everything.
They can either guide you in the right direction so you can create the plan yourself, or they can use their expert knowledge to write a marketing strategy for you. Investing some money (it doesn’t have to be expensive!) on professional help now will prove invaluable in the long run.
WANT TO READ MORE?
To read more about this topic, have a look at these:
5 Steps to Make Your Marketing Work – Marketing Strategy for Small Businesses
Why Business Goals Help you Grow Your Small Business Faster
8 Great Examples of USPs for Your Small Business
5 Tips to Beat the Competition As a Small Business