But not every owner only business has the advantage of having a team of people who can create campaigns to drive new business and keep existing clients. Often business owners are busy doing what keeps income coming in that marketing may be seen as something that action on an as and when you have time or money. Or you have methods in place that you have been doing for some time and have not given much thought to them.
Like a business plan, a marketing plan has a place in your business however large or small. A business plan helps you understand what your business is about, your clients, your financials – it serves as a compass as you navigate through the year. The marketing plan helps serve as a compass on how you are going to promote your business. If you are armed with knowledge from your business plan, you will know who, what and where your customers are, what budget you have for marketing and then set about how you are going to get more.
Reasons for not having one can vary from:
- I don't need a plan
- I don't have time to plan
- I don't know how to plan
- I am not a marketer.
Be mindful that you could potentially put your business at risk if you are not keeping an eye on marketing fundamentals. Ideally you need to know where your customers are coming from so that you can continue to do more of the same or diversify. You also need to be mindful of what's happening around you: economically, politically, financially and apply those to your own personal environment too.
Many 'owner only' businesses tend to stick to the more traditional avenues of promoting their businesses. This is fine but the world has changed. The way people want and find information has become much more rapid and online. Therefore it would be wise to diversify your activity and mix traditional with online activities too.
For example if you are paying an amount each month for traditional advertising – how do you know that it is providing results? Are you getting enquiries as a result and turning them into business? Do you ask your customers how they found you? Are you sticking to what you know best because that's what you have always done? Now might be a good time to evaluate and review if your business can benefit from other forms of marketing. Get that website built, create some social media plans. You need to know how customers are finding you. If it's word of mouth and you are getting regular recommendations – which costs nothing, you might find that a regular newsletter to your customers will encourage them to keep doing what they are doing.
Show your business that YOU mean business and get that marketing plan underway.