With all you have to do, creating a marketing plan may feel like an overwhelming, time-consuming task, but it doesn't have to be. Here are some guidelines for taking the stress out of this important business tool.
- A good rule of thumb is to budget 10% to 20% of your gross sales for marketing.
- Think about one year at a time for your marketing plan, then break it down by month.
- Write down your goals for the year. Pick no more than 3 goals to focus on for one year. From January through April, for example, concentrate on one goal and then move to the next goal for May through August.
- Outline the specific ways you will achieve your goals. If a florist wants to bring in more corporate business, he can make a list of targeted companies, call the appropriate contact people at the companies, and send a bouquet or direct mail postcard to the major prospects.
- Create a schedule or marketing calendar with deadlines when you've identified your activities.
- Track the results of your marketing. Always ask your new customers how they heard about you. This will tell you which marketing activities are working best.