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What you should know before writing a marketing plan

Your marketing plan will be one of the most important tools that you use as a business owner. However, many business owners make the mistake of thinking that they don't need or can't take the time to write a marketing plan. This can be a serious setback for your business. Savvy and successful business owners understand the importance of writing a marketing plan. However, it should be noted that there are some serious considerations you should make before writing your marketing plan. Having the right information can be crucial to making sure that your marketing plan will be effective. Here is what you should know before writing a marketing plan-

- Do you know what your marketing needs are as far as your business? It is important to understand that each business will have its own marketing needs. You should not be tempted to copy someone else's marketing plan or get a generic one from the internet. Your business will need its own unique marketing plan depending on what type of product or service that you sell, what your target market is, and how you sell your product or service. You should make sure that your marketing plan addresses the needs of your business or chances are that it will not be effective for your business.
- Do you know who you are trying to reach? Finding your target market is crucial for writing a marketing plan. You should not assume that everyone will be interested in buying your product or service. There will be a segment of the population who will be more interested in buying your product or service and those are the people that you are trying to reach. Businesses that try to market to everyone will rarely be successful. You will need to do sufficient market research before writing your marketing plan in order to determine who your target market is and how to get their attention.
- Do you know how to reach your potential customers? Many business owners mistakenly assume that once they know who their target market is they will need to just start marketing. This is not true. You will need to determine the best places to find your target market. Not all marketing methods will have the same rate of efficiency in reaching customers. You will need to clearly determine where your customers are and then decide the methods to use in order to decimate your marketing message. For example-You will need to determine if you can better reach your customers online or use an offline marketing method (TV, radio, print etc.) in order to let your customers know about your business and what you can offer them.
- Do you know the strengths of your business? Understanding the strengths of your business will be crucial before you write your marketing plan. You can greatly increase the effectiveness of your marketing when you know what you can use to attract your customers. However, it should be stressed that this will mean that you need to take the time to look carefully and honestly at your business. Once you know what you can capitalize on in your marketing then you can move on to writing an effective marketing plan.
- Do you know how much you can realistically budget for marketing? Part of your marketing plan will include your marketing budget. You should look carefully and closely at your financial resources to determine what amount of money you can allocate to marketing. Keep in mind that there are many low cost and even no cost ways to market your business so you should not let limited resources keep you from writing and effective marketing plan.

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