12 Months to Startup

Month 8: Develop your marketing and customer service plan.

A marketing plan consists of the strategies and devices you use to communicate to your target audience. A customer service plan focuses on customer requirements and ways of filling those requirements. The two work in concert. Descriptions of your market and its segments, the competition and prospective customers should be in your business plan.

Prioritize your tactics and begin with the ones that your research has shown to be the most effective for your audience. For example, a TV repair service's marketing program may be supported mainly by paid advertisements in the phone book, since "Television Repair" is one of the most often looked-up headings by homeowners. For your customer service plan, think about satisfaction and money-back guarantees, buying incentives, and resolution of customer complaints. Your program should evolve as the business grows.

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