How to write a marketing plan for your small business?
Owners of independent small and medium businesses, for example, can carry all the hottest merchandise, have strong customer service staff, and meet community demands by accepting EBT cards (the modern equivalent of food stamps).
This is all impressive, but if customers ignore it, it might be for nothing. Therefore, having a solid and well thought out marketing plan is essential to the success of an independent business owner.
âBefore starting a small business, entrepreneurs should create a marketing strategy. It’s never too late to create a marketing strategy if your store has opened without it, âsaid Elie Katz, President and CEO of National Retail Solutions. âYou need to be aware of your goals and your vision before deciding how to market your items. This is why developing a mission statement is the first step in the process.
A mission statement clarifies who your primary market is and how you are contributing to it. A corporate mission statement, according to Chris Bart, professor of strategy and governance at McMaster University, consists of three fundamental elements: serving customers by providing products and services, what makes your products special, and why. buyers should buy them rather than others. It is basically a description of your store’s mission.
âA marketing mission statement will cover what you sell, how you plan to promote it, and the activities you will undertake to achieve your goals,â Katz said. âA mission statement should be short and to the point. It’s a roadmap to success that helps business owners focus on the cornerstone of their marketing strategy.
It’s important to research the competition once you’ve developed your mission statement and started thinking about implementing your marketing approach. They could have the same marketing strategy. The dilemma then becomes how to make your plan stand out from the competition and attract customers.
âOnce you’ve got a great marketing strategy in place, you need to review it regularly to see if it’s still working or if it needs to be changed,â Katz said. âKeep track of how many people walk into your store and whether they buy the items you’re selling. If they buy different things, you might want to reconsider the products you are promoting more visibly.
For example, you can sell the same product at a reduced price, or you can combine the item with other products that are also on promotion. Make sure your demographics are factored into your marketing strategy: your signs and in-store marketing should be in both Spanish and English if you operate in a predominantly Spanish-speaking community. Look for unique products. Vegetables can be found in any small grocery store. Take a look at the competition to find out if there are products you can offer that no one else can. Whether it’s dynamic front-of-store signs and relevant lanes or putting things in better locations than your competition, make sure your marketing plan stands out and attracts customers.
According to Katz, analysis also involves tracking inventory to make sure you have the products consumers want and that you aren’t under-stocking or overstocking. Marketing things that aren’t in stock when a customer needs them is inconvenient to say the least. It also leads to dissatisfied customers who are unlikely to return once the item is back in stock. They will have already bought it from a competitor. Keep track of item sales by season so you know when to stock up on key items. Examine the ledger. Your marketing strategy should generate a positive return on investment. Otherwise, you are wasting your money on a plan that will not be profitable.
âIt is essential to follow the evolution of your marketing strategy. Since the strategy is unlikely to be perfect, you will have to make changes on the fly and quickly, âKatz said. âA busy store and increased profitability can be achieved by developing a clear goal statement, adopting and evaluating a marketing plan periodically, and knowing how and when to adjust the plan. “