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Once you have
set up a business that is capable of delivering the services it
promises and managing the resources and capital so that you can make
a profit, the most urgent business need will be to find, service and
keep customers. Here is a general outline of a
Begin with market analysis and strategic
planning: who is your target market and how will you communicate
Identify the best way to brand your services and
differentiate yourself from the competition: What makes you
Find ways to reach your target market and
convince them that you have the answer to their needs. What does
the customer want?
Find the opportunities where your services can be
sold. How will you convince them to buy your product?
Qualify your prospects to insure you are selling
to the right customer base. Who is your ideal customer?
Make proposals, presentations and negotiations
designed to win contracts and sell services. How do you get to
the right people with the right proposition?
Carry out and measure your performance, and
adjust accordingly. Are you doing what you say you will?
Marketing should be a priority.
This might include creating brochures and business cards, attending
networking events, writing proposals, and finding opportunities to
obtain contracts and to submit proposals. Whatever steps you have to
take to conduct marketing, it should be a priority all the time.
Examine how you are spending your
hours and create time on a consistent basis for marketing
activities. Everywhere you can, cut wasted time and set your
schedule to the task of generating business. Time management is
essential to focusing your efforts on the task of marketing. So is
clearly identifying goals and objectives and finding ways to
energize your positive actions towards reaching your goals.
Here is a five point marketing
Create a situational analysis.
This should include a description of your service offerings, the
advantages and disadvantages you are facing in your marketing
effort, and what challenges your competitors are posing. The
analysis should also include the outside forces that can affect
your business in the next year.
Create a simple description of
your target audience. This involves the demographics and
psychographics of your ideal customers.
Identify your marketing goals
for the next twelve months. Specify numbers, time periods, and
how you will measure results. Answer the questions of how much
income you want to generate and how many sales will you have to
complete to achieve this income objective.
Specify the strategies and
tactics that you will use to reach your goals. Give an overview
of each step you must take to attain your marketing objectives.
For example, describe how you will advertise to your ideal
customer, what steps you will take to measure the results, and
how you will alter your plan if the strategy does not work. This
section should contain such things as advertising, public
relations, direct mail, road shows, and any other channels you
will use to promote sales.
The last section should
include a budget of costs related to all activities you have
planned. This should be adjusted as you see what works and what
is not effective.
This plan should be measured and
changed as the realities of the marketplace show you what needs to
be adjusted. The plan works best as an evolving document, changing
as events unfold.
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