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How can I develop a good marketing plan with a limited budget?

What are the main points to consider? Should I actually create a written plan? Should I include things like target market and budget?
Michael Kaleikini answered June 1, 2010
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/answer/222111
Many people want to do things the simplest way possible. Shoot from the hip and you can do it huge, right? Wrong. Even the simplest of marketing plans need to be written down.

The reason for this being if you have no blueprint to go off of, how will you know what to build?

If you are considering making a marketing plan, your best bet is to begin with your branding. What is the main effect you want to have on your customer? What will be the feeling in their hearts and minds about your product or service? Is it a commodity? Or is it a purple cow? The answers to these questions will lend to pricing and profit in your business plan.

You'll need to do a S.W.O.T. (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunity, Threats) assessment too. Trust me, those that have not done this honestly not only fooled themselves but their business suffered or failed.

You have to have a plan. No battle commander goes into a battle unprepared--they at least have training even in fast response situations you should.

You will need to figure out what your budget is, you don't throw money at something and hope for rain. It doesn't work.

Your target market will be important simply because you wouldn't want to sell walkers to people that can walk just fine.

To recap, the main points to consider when forming a marketing plan are:

1. Branding
2. S.W.O.T. Assessment
3. Who are you selling to?
4. How much will it cost to get people to buy your stuff?

These are things you need to begin considering. There are ways to figure this out. Worksheets and just writing it or entering it on your iPad will do. Do something to keep track of it all so you know what you're spending on and how much it's bringing back to you. Regardless of whether it's traditional marketing or technological marketing like social media, you gotta have a plan.

Michael H Kaleikini is a business development consultant and founder of Business Refinement, LLC in Henderson, Nev.