Small Business Marketing Plan – a Template.
(For the purposes of this article I am using an example of a small business marketing plan for a web design company)
1. Identify Your Ideal Client: a Small Business owner who:
- Does not have a website
- Has a website but is not getting results
- Wants Google Places set up and/or optimised
- Wants a Facebook business page set up
- Wants to grow their business locally, not state-wide or nationally
2. Points to note about Your Ideal Client (research them well):
- Usually male between ages of 25 to 50
- Needs to know he needs a website (but will lack knowledge and probably be a little afraid of websites and SEO)
- Is frustrated – phone is not ringing, paying out money for website and/or SEO but no results, experiencing a fair level of pain about their marketing (post Yellow Pages)
- Knows how to do a Google search but not much else online – so need a combination of online and offline marketing strategies
3. The Service our business offers will:
- Be short term project oriented to build and/or optimise websites, not long term maintenance of websites or SEO
- Aim to get client strong quick results – Google local ranking, new customers
- Be based on down to earth, results oriented, high credibility, no ‘bull-s@#*’ approach – ALL MARKETING MATERIAL MUST convey this in copy-writing, testimonials, videos, photos, look and overall feel.
4. Strategies: (all targeted to reach our Ideal client)
- Our Business Website – Online (but only requires a Google search with right keywords; Direct Response Marketing; Geographically targeted; Attain High Google Search Ranking
- Get Opt-in and Free Offer on website by next month
- Networking – Offline; Owner enjoys and is good at it;
- Find strategic networking groups to visit and join in the short term
- Joint Ventures – Offline; Owner good at building these relationships; Can outsource to a sales rep or marketing company in time
- Find other suitable businesses (printer, accountant, etc) that will allow our business access to their customers or refer us to their customers for a benefit/fee.
- Develop a computer based follow up system
- Develop material for JV partners to use for referrals
- Referrals – Offline; Referrals from SME’s who are happy with results of SWM’s service; Will occur naturally over time
- Develop material to ask for referrals at successful completion of projects
- Initially get video and print testimonials
- Develop a computer based follow up system
- Direct Promotion – Online and Offline
- Target Businesses already spending money online with Adwords, still using Yellow Pages, classifieds in local papers, etc
- Outsource this as a specifically developed marketing campaign
5. Test and Measure EVERYTHING – with specific goals, specific time frames, specific steps that can be counted and tracked. Do this on a relatively small and inexpensive sample so do not waste money on unproductive marketing.
Next steps in order to complete your small business marketing plan:
- Set specific goals
- Complete list of Action Steps, time frames, measures for each goal
- COST THE PLAN AND MAKE SURE YOU HAVE BUDGET FOR IT!
- Make it happen. Roll it out according to priority, opportunity and budget.
- Test and Measure ongoing – so you do not waste time and money on something that is not working.
- Review plan monthly
This small business marketing plan template is something any small business can implement to be effective in their market. The most important elements are knowing exactly who is your ideal client and knowing exactly what are the services you will and will not provide.
If you do not have a business it is instructive to note that in every job interview, every relationship, every organisation, every day, to some degree you are marketing yourself. Are you strategic about how you engage with your world or do you take whatever comes?
I’d love to know what kind of small business marketing plan has worked for you?
Further reading: An excellent article that will help you think through many of the issues required to formulate a successful small business marketing plan
Great read easy to implement article John, thank you – Really appreciated the comment reminding us to COST out our plans and make sure you have the budget for it. Small businesses and micro businesses need to have a marketing/ sales budget. After all it is a Business!
Totally agree Jo. THanks for the feedback.
Great article John, this is the best marketing plan in terms of simple and beautiful I found so far. The action steps are really really helpful.
Glad you have found the template useful Markus.
Thank you for your comment and your encouragement.
I agree. The template is my attempt to help businesses to get their act together. Nothing is more important than marketing!!!
Your blog is totally informative and helpful for businessman. I also find this type of post. I also like your business plan strategy.