After Sports Magazines Give Cover-Story Attention To The Outstanding Performance Your Business Plan Should Include a Marketing Plan

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Your Business Plan Should Include a Marketing Plan

Carol was a partner in a new real estate agency. The other partner was a broker, so he took on that part of the responsibility, while Carol kept the books and tended to the advertising.

They do not call their advertising marketing, and in all reality, it was not.

His method was simple. Each time they closed one, he’d see how much money came into the account and figure out where he could spend it on advertising.

Can you see where this is going? He forgets about other mundane expenses like rent, electricity bill, telephone service etc. So when these bills arrived he panicked. And sometimes he pays late charges if the next completion doesn’t come soon.

Carol had no idea how much she should spend on advertising – because she and her partner had no marketing plan.

They had both been realtors for several years, but were working for other people and didn’t pay much attention to where the clients and customers came from. So they had no idea what medium they should use for advertising. They didn’t know if people responded to their newspaper ads, their pages in Homes magazine, or the signs they posted on their properties for sale.

On top of that, Carroll easily led the salesmen who dropped by offering the latest and greatest ideas. He’s bought everything from signature ads to endorsing school sports to restaurant placemat ads to shopping cart ads. He bought if he had enough money in his checking account.

He should have started with the budget. While no small business person can predict how many dollars will come into the business in a given month, they can make an estimate based on past history. After taking out all fixed expenses like rent, they can see what percentage is left for other things. A portion of this should be allocated to marketing.

But that full percentage shouldn’t automatically be spent every month. Instead, they need to plan for quarterly and annual promotions that take up a large chunk of marketing dollars — and set aside a portion of revenue each month to cover those recurring expenses. For example, if they send out a quarterly newsletter, they need to budget for printing and postage. And if they purchase and mail gift items to their clients during the holidays, that cost needs to be factored in.

If the business is real estate, annual expenses such as filling in yard signs also need to be included in the plan.

The next step, once they see how many media marketing dollars they have to work with, is to carefully consider where those dollars should be spent for maximum effectiveness.

Most businesses will benefit from a web presence – a small cost once the website is up and running. But even a $10 or $20 per month hosting fee adds up over a year, so it has to go into the budget.

All businesses should know who their customers are so they can select the right niche to reach them. If it turns out that most of your customers are between the ages of 25 and 35, no amount of advertising in “Senior Times” will build your business!

Next, businesses need to pay attention and keep records of where customers come from. In some businesses, like real estate or insurance, it’s easier to just ask. You don’t have that opportunity in others. But a coupon or a special offer with a promotional code will reveal the truth If you put a valuable coupon in a publication and don’t get many buyers, you know it’s the wrong place to advertise!

It is also important to check the ad size. Sometimes a small ad will be drawn alongside a large one. But sometimes not. If the budget is tight, it may be more effective to run a large ad every two or three weeks rather than a small ad every week. Checking your results is key.

The second part of creating a marketing plan is the marketing copy itself. Good copywriting takes time. Seasonal promotions need to be planned ahead of time and printing arranged or merchandise ordered before it is needed.

Often times small business owners dread writing their ad copy. They’re not good at it, so put it off until the last minute. I’ve seen realtors scrambling to write copy to promote a home when the deadline was only 15 minutes away.

I believe that no ad is better than a bad ad – because poor copy gives the impression of an unprofessional, sloppy business. It is a true waste of money.

With your marketing plan in front of you, you can block off some quiet time to write your copy yourself or explain your needs and take your background materials to a copywriter who will do it for you.

Yes, copywriting is another expense that has to go into the marketing budget, but unless you’re really good at it and don’t want to take the time to develop the skills, professional copywriting services will more than pay for themselves. revenue.

Oh – you’re probably wondering what happened to Carol.

When his partner finally wakes up to what he’s doing and why they broke up, they get into a huge fight. Their separation was not very pleasant, and actually ended up in court.

A marketing plan, agreed upon by both partners, will save them a lot of grief, as well as a lot of money.

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