Developing a Basic Marketing Plan

Step 1: Define your Goals

Create a simple document that defines your marketing goals (example: bring in $X,000 worth of business from new clients this year, or attract 10 new clients through your web site).

Step 2: Make a List of Prospective Clients

One of the most important steps is finding businesses or people that are most likely to need your products or services.

Keep In Touch with Past Clients or Customers

“A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” In marketing terms, this means that your existing clients or customers are often your best marketing targets. Touch base with them periodically—in person, by phone or with a mailing/email. Even if they no longer need your services or products, they might refer you to colleagues and friends.

Target New Prospects

Next, think beyond your typical client and come up with new target markets that might be interested in what you have to offer. Figure out some effective ways to educate them about your business: a new section on your web site or a new trifold brochure targeted specifically toward them.

Step 3: Develop an Action Plan

Do some brainstorming to figure out ways to reach your prospects. Write up list or chart that outlines specific actions: calling current or past customers, joining a business organization, or sending out a mailer to draw visitors to your web site. Include a budget for any hard costs you might encounter. Make sure to assign each action to a specific person and give the task a deadline.

Step 4: Implement the Plan & Track Results

Track the results of your actions in a chart or spreadsheet to measure their effectiveness (example: open house generated 7 leads; postcard mailer got 12 responses). If something isn’t working, rethink it, develop a new strategy and move ahead.