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Planning Your Way to Success
Whether you are a small company or a larger corporation one of the primary keys to success lies in preparing and following a good marketing plan. Why? Because you can have the most awesome product or service to offer, but without a plan in place, you may flounder for direction and waste a lot of time and energy as a result.
What a Marketing Plan Should Include
As you prepare your plan it should contain data and specifics pertaining to your company's goals, the product or service you're offering, how you intend to market it and a means for measuring your success. Generally speaking, larger companies create plans that are extremely comprehensive in size and nature while smaller companies will do just as well with a briefer strategy.
Create an Objective
Starting with a clear objective for your marketing plan may mean spending a bit of time in contemplation but it's important to be certain as to the overall purpose and objective of your company. Take some time to focus on what you really want to achieve and you'll get there much faster.
As an example, when I first began my writing/consulting business, I thought long and hard as to what I intended. It was essential that I share my talent in a positive and meaningful way so that not only was I personally rewarded but I also wanted to be sure that what I offered would help other people succeed. I knew that I wanted to create material that would be impressive, effective and dynamic, but I also relished in the idea of empowering other people. So with those thoughts in mind I created an intention that aligned with my purpose. It is as follows: "My intention as a Writer/Consultant is to fully succeed at providing my clients with high quality written material that uniquely reflects their objectives while helping them stand apart from the crowd!"
Be Aware of Your Market
Consider whether there are particular trends in your industry. Pay special attention as to which audience you are trying to reach. Have you researched the need for your product? Are you aware of your competition? Are layoffs affecting your particular arena and if so is it to your benefit or detriment? The economy does not necessarily influence some industries, but because it does have some bearing on many markets, you may want to be aware of those markets.
Your Marketing Strategy
How do you intend to market your product or service? If you are not promoting your business in some way, it's easy to forget your company, so including an effective marketing strategy is essential. Think about some of the largest companies in the world and how they are constantly brainstorming in an effort to keep the public's attention. Notice how we are collectively bombarded with new commercials and announcements daily making sure we never forget certain products or services. Of course most of us cannot compete with huge companies, however there are many ways to promote your business without it costing a lot of money. It simply requires a bit of thought and creativity
Setting Time and Accomplishment Goals
Generally your plan should cover a period of from six months to a year. Ask yourself periodically if you've taken all the steps that you planned. Are you within your schedule? Are you attracting the clientele you had hoped to attract? Are you making good contacts that return or send referrals? Are you building rapport with customers? Does the plan need some rearranging or rethinking? Check the plan you've prepared on a monthly basis as a measure for meeting your goals and objectives. If you find that you're on target keep the plan in place. But if you obviously see that something isn't working, rethink your marketing strategies.
Finally, while you may hope for the day when you can sit back reaping the benefits of your efforts, you can never stop marketing. You must keep an open mind and never get stuck in sameness. If you find one avenue isn't bearing fruit, simply recognize it as an opportunity to explore other possibilities. Or simply get back to basics, which includes writing a new article, sending out a press release, saying hello to old clients via e-mail or simply getting quiet for a few days until you're inspired. As it is your goal to have the world beat a path to your door, keeping a good marketing plan updated and refined is crucial to the success of your business.
Charlene Rashkow brings 15 years of experience as a Writing Stylist and Author to her creative efforts as a freelance writer/consultant. She has successfully helped companies and individuals reach their objectives by writing outstanding web site content, press releases, bios, articles of interest, letters, business plans, resumes, and all other forms of marketing material. You may contact Charlene at http://www.allyourwritingneeds.com
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