Marketing planning for small businesses

I often meet small businesses that are busy doing the day job and that are struggling to focus on what will bring them new business. Business experts often say ‘fail to plan and you’re planning to fail’. But what to do? We all need a plan but we don’t necessarily need to over-complicate. So, here are our top 7 tips for simple new business development planning for small businesses:

      • Understand your market – What is happening in your marketplace? Are there any issues or changes upon which you can concentrate? Is the market growing and do customers have the money and appetite to invest?
      • Understand your competitors – What are they offering? How do they position what they offer? What are their fees and fee structure? Do they offer any guarantees? How are they different to you?
      • What works in your market? – What activity have you done to generate business that has worked in the past? What are others doing?
      • Who is the target? – What sector(s)? Who is the decision-maker for what you sell? What size ofcompany? Where are they located? Is the market you’re going for viable e.g. do you have the requisite experience and credentials?
      • What marketing options do you have?  – There are many options but what works best and what suits your budget? Whatlow costmethods can you employ e.g. networking, events, blogs, word of mouth, Linkedin? Where do your targets go for information that you can provide?
      • What are you offering? You may have a range of services. Which services suits which customer groups? Do you sell everything to everyone or need to focus certain things on certain customer types?
      • What is your proposition? – What differentiates you? Why should potential new customers engage with you or buy from you? What’s in it for them?

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