Small business owners often are overwhelmed, wearing so many hats they have lost count and juggle multiple breakable plates while managing a never-ending mountain of to-dos.
Trying to put all that on hold, even briefly, to plan out the next 30 days, let alone the next year, seems impossible.
And... often it seems like that type of forethought is not applicable to a small business or solopreneur.
Myths Small Business Owners Believe About Creating a Marketing Plan
1. Marketing planning is for big business, not small businesses or solopreneurs.
While it’s certainly true that marketing planning and strategy appear to be a much greater part of business for large brands and companies than smaller ones, this is simply because they allocate the manpower and dollars to do it.
If your goal as a small business owner is to grow to be a big company, then your business can certainly benefit from a similar approach.
I know, I know, large corporations with multitudes of employees, that can focus on nothing but developing marketing plans are very far removed from you and your 1-man operation. You feel like they're on a completely different playing field.
But, the purpose of a marketing plan is to map out the decisions you have made to determine the future success of your business. And the truth is that any business, of any size, will find that invaluable.
2. I don’t need to plan, I run a flexible business.
One advantage that small companies have is the ability to be flexible and respond quickly to changes in their industry or their business environment. Planning, however, does not affect your ability to be flexible if needed.
Think of marketing planning like using your GPS:
You put in the address of your desired destination, so you know where you want to end up. This prepares you for when a road is closed or traffic is backed up for miles (as it so often is these days), and you're able to find another route to get to your destination.
Yes, flexibility is truly vital in a rapidly changing world.
But flexibility is a different matter than being pulled in a thousand directions by all “opportunities” (i.e courses, coaches, masterminds, workbooks, reports, ideas, etc.) in the market. This approach often leaves you with uncertainty and confusion. This is because you have no route planned for how to reach your desired destination.
Planning is, quite literally, putting in the desired address for where you want your business to be at the end of the month, quarter, or year.
If you want your business to grow, you will need a strategic direction and a plan to get there.
After you have set your plan in motion, you can measure any new opportunities that arise by deciding what fits best to get you to your desired destination.
Instead of being pulled in multiple directions without a map or guide to know which way you need to go, with a plan in place, you can make an informed judgment about whether to make a diversion from your chosen route.
3. I have NO time to prepare a marketing plan. ( OR in your best whiny, princess voice... "How
Yes, this is a logical excuse- but it is still an excuse. And the truth is that you make time for what is important.
So, let's talk about why this planning part is important:
Consider that a marketing plan will help you understand your customers, your competitors, and your market environment on much deeper levels.
Consider that it will help you develop a marketing mix that your customers will find highly attractive.
Consider that your promotional activities will be more targeted.
The time invested in your marketing plan increases your efficiency in your ongoing marketing tasks, and will save you significant time down the road while at the same time produce better results.
/krēāˈtivədē/ /kuh n-suhl-tnt/
Noun: An energetic native Floridian with a passion for smart, authentic, imaginative, effective marketing strategies and original ideas.
Synonyms: Netflix Junkie, Cockapoo mom, crazy aunt, world traveler, foodie.
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