A good marketing plan is important for the growth of your business. Your goods or service could be in high demand and priced fairly. You might have found the best deals on your goods and found enough money to run your business. All of these things won’t help you if you haven’t taken the time to do market research to figure out who your customers are, how to get your product or service to those customers, and how to keep those customers once you have them. Time is the key word here.
Putting together a marketing plan takes time, but it is time well spent. Market research can be done for you by professional companies or by independent experts. These services do studies of the market, put together data, and give suggestions. Professional marketing studies may be too expensive for a small or home-based business. Don’t forget to look for help with market research from sites that aren’t professionals. Contact the business departments at the schools and universities in your area. As part of their school work, marketing students are often asked to do marketing surveys and make marketing plans.
Most of the time, there is a small fee for this service. In exchange, you’ll get a marketing plan made by smart, driven, and active students who will be graded on the project. Service Corp of Retired Executives (SCORE) is another resource. Since 1964, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has been in charge of it. Both SCORE and the SBA are there to help entrepreneurs start businesses and keep them going. SCORE gives free one-on-one counselling as well as seminars and workshops. If you need help with marketing, a counsellor who knows about that will be given to you.
You might decide to do your own study on the market and come up with your own plan for marketing. Most of the information you will need can be found in your public or college library, as well as in papers from the Department of Commerce, the Small Business Administration, and the Census Bureau. Trade groups and their publications, as well as the Chambers of Commerce, can give you more information. If you do your own study on the market and make your own plan, you will have taken the mystery out of marketing. You’ll find out everything there is to know about your business.
Marketing is all the things that are done to get goods and services from the seller to the buyer. Marketing is all the things you do to get the word out about your business. The way your business card and other promotional materials look, how you present yourself, how your workers act, and the quality of your product or service all contribute to your business’s image or identity. A person who is interested in marketing must care about the customer. A business owner who does well looks at a product or service in an unbiased way. Find out what your business is about and make sure that it shows in your product design, advertising, and other marketing tools.
There are parts that explain how to do market research. You want to do a market survey to find out what people are buying now and to find new goods and services. You will learn how to make, send out, and grade surveys as a way to test the market. It is made clear how important it is to look at the industry and how to find your target market. Once you know who your customers are, you will learn how to come up with a plan to reach that market.
In the second part of this book, we’ll look at what are called the “five-Ps” of marketing. You will find a place for your goods or service in the market and enter it. A good marketing plan takes into account how the product will be distributed, where it will be sold, how it will be priced, when it will go on the market, how it will be promoted, and how it will be packaged. The best way to reach your customers is through publicity and advertising. It’s not enough to just reach your buyers.
In the third part, you’ll learn how to keep your customers coming back. One way to do this is to give good customer service and make sure that customers are happy. Customers can have problems with an employee, a place, a product, or a service. You will learn how to be ready for and stop these kinds of complaints. You will see that a company’s strongest marketing statement is a promise or warranty. It is emphasised how important it is to be involved in your society. You will learn how to talk about what you know about your industry, how to find out what your customers think, and how to keep your staff and sellers honest. People have said that “word of mouth” is the best way to get the word out.
Customers and the community have to be loyal to a business for it to do well. Think of planning and market study as detective work. You are looking for the rare “target market,” and you won’t get paid until you find it. The more “clues” or information you have, the easier it will be to find that customer, reach out to them, keep them as a customer, and sell them your product or service.