In their book Start Your Own Business, the staff of Entrepreneur Media Inc. guides you through the critical steps to starting your business, then supports you in surviving the first three years as a business owner. In this edited excerpt, the authors explain the simple steps involved with creating a marketing plan for your new business.
Everyone knows you need a business plan, yet many entrepreneurs don’t realize a marketing plan is just as vital. Unlike a business plan, a marketing plan focuses on winning and keeping customers; it's strategic and includes numbers, facts and objectives. A good marketing plan spells out all the tools and tactics you’ll use to achieve your sales goals. It’s your plan of action—what you’ll sell, who'll want to buy it and the tactics you’ll use to generate leads that result in sales. And unless you’re using your marketing plan to help you gain funding, it doesn’t have to be lengthy or beautifully written. Use bulleted sections, and get right to the point.
Here’s a closer look at creating a marketing plan that works: