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Why every business needs a marketing plan

Every business should have a marketing plan. Whether your business marketing plan is part of your overall business plan or a separate document it is crucial to have one. Some business owners think that they only need a marketing plan to present to a potential lender or investor. While this is certainly an important part of having a marketing plan it is not the only reason to have one. There are many other reasons that you should have a well written marketing plan that is based on thorough research. Having the right marketing plan can be highly instrumental in guiding your business to long term success. Here is why every business needs a marketing plan-

- Your marketing plan will be an operating guide-Your marketing plan (if it is well written); will serve as an operating guide for one of the most important functions of your business. If you have taken the time to plan out other functions of your company then you should not overlook planning your marketing. If you have written your marketing plan correctly it will provide you with the instructions that you need in order to accomplish your marketing goals. Keep in mind that it is crucial to write everything down. Studies show that businesses that have a written marketing plan are much more successful then those who don't.
- Your marketing plan will be a record of your progress-Marketing is most often a complex and dynamic process that includes both successes and failures. You should not depend on your memory to remember what has worked and what hasn't. You will need to have a record of your progress. When you are able to see how you are progressing toward your marketing goals you will be able to determine if you are on the right path or if changes need to be made. Even if you start out by just listing your marketing goals you will be able to see how you are doing as time goes by.
- Your marketing plan will be a written record-It cannot be stressed enough that everything that involves the marketing of your business should be written down. Over the course of your business lifecycle you will most likely have tried many different marketing approaches and strategies. It is important to make notes as to how well these have worked. If you fail to write these things down or simply rely on your memory you are more then likely going to repeat past mistakes and not remember what has worked well. If you have a written record you can periodically check and refresh your memory. If you keep a thorough record of your marketing successes and failure it can save you time, money, and effort.
- Your marketing plan will be a rallying point-Keep in mind that your marketing plan can bring everyone within your business together. Many business owners do not realize how much their employees want to feel a part of their business. You can often include your employees and make them feel more enthusiastic about their jobs when you share your marketing plan. You may actually be surprised by how interested your employees will be. When your employees know what you are trying to do with your marketing plan they are far more likely to get behind and push the products and services that your business offers. If you feel that your marketing plan is to complex to distribute consider putting together an abridged version for your employees to read. You can also plan special meetings that will help to inspire everyone and get them ready to take on the next marketing challenge.

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