Your Marketing plan has to be built around your product. But before distribution can begin, market research needs to be performed. Analysing the Market place and researching what competitors are doing will bring perspective to your Marketing strategy and vision. It will also provide key indicators on pricing and potential. Something to consider is your product's life cycle which is important in determining when the market will reject your product.
Once a product is launched into the market, a stable growth in sales is common at first. This will eventually stabilise as the product gets older, and as more competitors enter the market it eventually will start declining to the point of elimination. It is difficult to tell where a specific product is within the lifecycle or how long each phase will last. This is dependent on many factors within the market and how they are dealt with. Many companies have adopted strategies to combat a shortened product life by releasing improved versions.
Price. When entering the Market for the first time, pricing is something that can either 'make you or break you'. Small businesses tend to think that they need to offer really cheap prices to stand a chance of survival. That's not the case. It all depends on what you do, what you can do and what you are willing to do. We all know about demand and supply, an abundant supply forces prices to drop because demand decreases. We see it in the UK today, many companies offer the same service in the same area but still seem to make it. How? Its called Value Added Services. Taking a standard product that is available on the Market and adding something that is unique and beneficial to consumers ensures that your product has a chance. It also allows you more flexibility on Pricing.
Many small businesses associate position with location only. It is much more than where your business is physically situated or where your distribution areas encompass. It is about creating a unique identity for your business, a Brand which will act as a platform from which to launch your products. In other words, position applies to your place in the Market. Does you company name reflect what you are about, will consumers be able to instantly recognise you?
Promotion / Distribution
Who are your customers. If you don't know who they are and what they want, you will not be able to promote effectively. Target, target, target. Most of your information will come from Market Research and analyses. Things like Average age, yearly spend, customer groups, buying habits are all important facts that help make promotion effective and easy. Once you identify your perfect customer, you need to figure out the best way to reach them. Remember...Getting your Marketing message heard! Choosing a communication channel is of utmost importance. The wrong one being chosen will result in the wrong audience being reached.
Your Marketing plan can act as your mission statement, what you intend to do in order to reach your objective or Vision.
Branding a small business is a must if you want to succeed in a competitive world. The importance of branding a business disregarding its size is based on not only real benefits, products and services that your business possesses, but also an image concept that all businesses should keep in mind.
From colour business cards to global business identity, depending on how effectively you brand your business, the more or the less opportunities of success will knock at your door. The reason why large companies brand their businesses is because they know this is the best way to differentiate their products and services from their competitors while creating a corporate image.
Many small business owners believe it is not necessary to development a corporate image, particularly those whose business integrate just a few individuals as staff, or even when they own a one-man business, using the internet for selling or promoting their professional services. However, even a small business should utilise the same principles as the large enterprises to brand their business.
Furthermore, if your business has business cards, stationary and other branded elements along with a matching website, you will not only create a corporate image, but also loyal relationships with your customers and prospective customers, who will find more reliability with a small business with these characteristics, than others without a professional look and feel.
Because you only have the opportunity to impress new customers once, you should make sure that this impression is a positive and lasting introduction and handshake, only possible if you brand your business conveniently and professionally. There is no need to spend thousand of dollar to achieve it, but do not go to the other extreme using uneven elements.
Small businesses should be aware of the elements that will make their brand unique and recognisable, including consistency between online and printed elements, such as your logo, signage, business cards and even a slogan that helps people understand at a glance your business's mission statement.
Effective branding must achieve these goals; be consistent and never differing, carrying the same logo, colours, slogans and statements through to every element of your business, all of them always visible and unique, hence the need to avoid elements that anyone can find anywhere such as free or cheap clipart.
Creating your brand, whatever your budget you require a business plan to have a solid appreciation on whom your customers will be and what can you do to serve them. This is not only a matter of elegant stationary or catchy business cards; it is the most important deployment of a small business for an eventual growth in future terms.
What would it be like if you could keep all your people happy, have a great working life and make more money? For most of us that sounds like an unobtainable dream. However, there are clear strategies you can adopt which can make this reality.
The key to all this is creating value. Creating value is something you do not only for your customers but also for yourself and your team. The first thing to look at is making sure that your product adds value to the lives or businesses of your customers. You also want to make sure that working in the organisation adds value to the lives of the people involved in it.
To the extent you add value in all directions, you also make money as a natural by product. Focusing on money never produces the best results. That does not mean that you cannot increase performance by focusing on money but to do so is ultimately usually at the cost of internal relations and/or the well being of your team and/or the loyalty of your customer base.
Making the Dream Reality
Ask yourself and your team:
Be consistent in everything. Look at all your relationships to see whether they are appropriately documented and documented in a way that reflects your purpose and values:
Once you have highlighted your purpose and values, undertaking an honest appraisal of where you currently stand and audited your relationships with various stakeholders in your business, the time may have come to take a step back and reappraise your legal documentation.