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Small Business Minute: Making a marketing plan

By Brian Leaf

Youíve got ideas, money and a cool product. So success is a foregone conclusion.


Yeah, right!

Thereís a missing ingredient to this recipe Ė customers.

If nobody buys what youíre selling, youíre losing money and arenít going to be in business for long.

Youíve got to market what you make. Thatís a point that Startup Journal says seems shocking to many entrepreneurs who are flabbergasted when nobody buys their prototype product, or visits their store at the grand opening.

Thatís where a marketing plan can help.

Marketing plans identify customers and competitors. They help entrepreneurs develop strategies to attract and keep customers. They can help you identify find strengths and weaknesses in the competition, and strategies to beat them. ?

?They can guide the design of products and services by identifying bells and whistles that customers like. Or donít like. It can uncover markets. It can help you project revenue from the business.?

?Not all marketing plans will tell entrepreneurs what they want to hear. They may expose trouble in your own company, according to the Small Business Administration. They can uncover weak areas or holes in your business plan. And if data is misread, a marketing plan may also create faulty revenue projections that will sink your company.

Fortunately, the pros outweigh the cons, according to the SBA. And there is professional help available for marketing plans. Call your local SBA office listed under U.S. Government in the phone book. ?

?With some pointers, you wonít forget key ingredients from your business.

For more on marketing plans, visit the SBAís website at http://www.sba.gov/gopher/Business-Development/Business-Initiatives-Education-Training/Marketing-Plan/mkt2.txt

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