Your marketing plan is an essential tool to helping you reach your business goals. It will be the roadmap you follow to determine what actions you will take to reach your customers and how you will continually assess and evaluate the overall effectiveness of your marketing activities.
The Community Futures office of Medicine Hat has recently added a Marketing Support service to assist entrepreneurs and existing businesses in our region develop an effective marketing plan. If you are struggling to generate sales, it might be time to seek out guidance on how to create and follow a marketing plan.
Here are 4 ways that an effective marketing plan can help you succeed in business:
1. Helps You Maintain Focus. As a small business owner, you probably wear many hats. By establishing a clear and effective marketing plan, you will be able to stay on task with your marketing strategies and possibly even offload some of the marketing responsibilities to another team member.
2. Aligns Your Marketing Efforts With Your Goals. Stephen Covey established the effective practice of “beginning with the end in mind.” If you know what your overall marketing objectives are intended to accomplish, your marketing plan can help you determine how the steps you take help get you to your goal.
3. Helps You Establish Timelines and Tasks. By creating a marketing plan, you will be able to map out specific steps and a timeline for each step to ensure that your efforts are aligned with your sales and service objectives.
4. Helps You Acquire Additional Financing. If you expect that you might seek investment or financing at some point in your business venture, having an effective marketing plan will show your potential investors or lenders that you have thoroughly researched competitive marketing strategies and that you are aligned in your goals and associated marketing efforts.
At the end of the day, your marketing plan can help you achieve the goal of generating maximum sales for your business. It might be one of the most important things you do.
If you do not have a marketing plan in place, our newest team member can work with you to provide one-on-one guidance and support. Carrie Clausen joined the team at Tourism Medicine Hat team in late 2017, but also dedicates a portion of her time to serving local business owners who are seeking business guidance through the Community Futures offices. Her broad experience in franchise ownership, economic development, product development and promotions has given her a deep understanding of what issues business owners face when trying to market their business.
If you have never created a marketing plan for your business, we encourage you to contact our offices so that we can provide you with templates and information to guide you through the process of developing your own marketing plan. Once you have completed the plan, we will meet with you to review content and provide practical feedback to help you get on the right path to marketing your business with a proper plan.
Community Futures Entre-Corp has been supporting small business since 1988. We provide the tools and guidance you need to run your business. For more information about our programs and how we can connect you with helpful resources, please call Community Futures at 403-528-2824. If you have questions related to marketing your business, please contact Carrie at [email protected].
This article was written by Elizabeth Blair. Elizabeth is the Regional Innovation Network (RIN) Coordinator at Community Futures Entre-Corp and works to oversee activities with APEX. APEX is a Regional Innovation Network that supports the growth of innovative and technologically-oriented businesses in Southeast Alberta.
APEX is a collaborative initiative between three core service providers: Community Futures Entre-Corp Business Development, Medicine Hat College; and Alberta Innovates. APEX strives to support local entrepreneurs and small to medium-sized enterprises to develop and adopt new technologies, commercialize innovative new products, improve productivity, and help local business get connected to Alberta’s Innovation System.