While on a limited budget you can still create a quality marketing plan, assuring customer satisfaction and a good image for your business.Develop Your Major Selling Advantage
Determine your quintessential qualities. What makes you better, more memorable and of greater value to your target market than your competition? Identify your ideal customer. What challenges are they facing that you can provide a solution to? Network to build your prospect base. Go to tradeshows, events and local chamber meetings and join groups that have members in your target market.
Create a Memorable Identity for Your Business
Marketing is about VCRâ€”visibility, consistency and repetition in the marketplace. You need to be visible in a consistent way and repeat that message over and over again to your target market. Invest in creating a professional logo.
Design a Promotional Kitâ€”No More Brochures
The brochure is the most common type of promotional material, but itâ€™s also the most useless, especially for newer businesses that are still evolving. The minute the pamphlet comes off the press, it is outdated and youâ€™ll want to make changes. An alternative is to develop a promotional kit, which generally consists of a two-pocket folder with your logo on it that holds information about your business. Include your biography, the history of your company, a press release, a list of products and services, client testimonials, a list of references, a professional photograph, reprints of articles youâ€™ve written or been quoted in, a newsletter and a question and answer sheet.
Promote Your Business
Stay in the publicâ€™s eye. Repetition is the key to visibility. A rule-of-thumb is that it takes at least six impressions before a consumer associates your product or service with your business name. When your business accomplishes something that is newsworthy, write a press release and send it to local business reporters.
Develop an Effective Web Site
The key is to make it easy for your clients to reach you and receive information about you. Include your Web site address on all printed marketing materials. Many people look for services and products online. Even a Web site that is simply brochure-ware, providing relevant information that your prospects and clients want to know, will be sufficient.
Generate On-going Referrals
Ask your best client (particularly after theyâ€™ve said something wonderful about you) if they would assist you in the growth and development of your business by signing off on a referral letter that would come from them (that means on their letterhead with their signature) and be delivered to a pre-determined list of people (your prospects).
Implement a Simple Marketing Plan
Be specific about your goals and detail what you need to do to reach them. For instance, if your objective is to increase sales by 15 percent during the next 12 months, create a timeline with specific steps toward meeting that goal.