Regardless of the products or services you're trying to sell, you’ve got to create a comprehensive marketing plan each so your business can meet all of its goals. This is true for all business structures, including sole proprietorships, small companies, partnerships, and large corporations. A well-crafted marketing plan will help you keep tabs on all of your resources and expenses, while also helping to clarify the best ways to reach new customers in the midst of satisfying your current ones. A thorough plan will also allow you to assign your most qualified employees to carry out various parts of it.

Starting Out to Create Your Plan

Even if you’ve already created a prior marketing plan, it's always a good idea to obtain additional tips from a group like the SBA (Small Business Administration). This government organization can even provide much larger companies with a sample marketing plan or two that can be creatively adapted for a much larger company.

If you've already been in business for an extended period of time, then pull them out your older marketing plans and gather together all of your most recent financial reports, operating budgets, and profit-and-loss statements. Next, make a list of all of the products and services you’ll be marketing – and then make note of your most promising new customer data. Be sure to also keep track of where you're most likely to incur strong competition from other companies. Next, create a list of all current customers, as well as the various types of customers you'll be approaching for the first time.

Always make time to hold at least one meeting with employees at different levels to see if they can provide you with any valuable suggestions. Finally, determine how much money you can afford to spend (or borrow) for your next year of marketing.

Major Plan Topics That Must Be Addressed

  • What is the current “market situation?” Is it rather volatile with numerous new competitors moving into the area? It will help you to write up a very brief history of your company’s various products over the years and how they’ve changed, noting which ones are now you're strongest. Also, what is your current sales and distribution set-up?

  • How would you describe the clients you are most interested in reaching during the upcoming year? How are they similar or different than most past clients?

  • What current market trends are likely to pose your greatest challenges? Which trends are likely to remain the most favorable to you? Be sure to clearly indicate how you’ll manage your resources in light of those situations;

  • Are there new or special opportunities you should immediately pursue? For example, if any highly desirable new clients have relocated near you -- or have opened up a number of new branch offices, be sure to directly address those opportunities in your plan. Is the local economy growing much stronger – leading employers to greatly increase their workforce status? How can you take best advantage of these changes?

  • Create separate yet clear-cut marketing objectives for all of your products and services;

  • Set high goals for all of your sales and marketing staff – obtain regular feedback from them to be sure they are meeting expectations. Be ready to provide timely advice and new instructions as needed;

  • What will you be doing that's new and different this year? Are you offering new products and services? Are you revising their contracts to take advantage of any new tax law changes?

  • Assign the appropriate personnel to carefully monitor the budget for the upcoming year’s marketing plan. Specifically state both your gross sales objectives in your plan, along with your anticipated net profits;

  • Make sure to develop adequate brochures and various online materials that very clearly explain the nature of your products and services. Explain to your employees how they can help new customers put them these to optimal use;

  • Be prepared to adapt your marketing plan to customer feedback – as well is that of your most successful salespeople. Clearly indicate in a large notebook when all major changes are made to the initial marketing plan. If there are multiple business owners or partners, be sure everyone agrees on the overall marketing plan that's been created – and possibly adapted over time. Be sure to include an executive summary in your marketing plan so your main goals can be easily grasped and understood.

Also, personally take time to audit the books and records supporting your marketing plan. Create meaningful reports each month so you can keep accurate records of how well your company is meeting its marketing goals.

Always stay open to obtaining confidential advice from proven experts in your field. If necessary, consider hiring an outside marketing firm to provide you with specific guidelines for creating a strong marketing plan specifically designed for your industry. Attend appropriate seminars on marketing and bring in experts to discuss your current goals with all of your top executives.

At the end of each year, carefully file away your most recent marketing plan so you can easily locate it in the future when you’re getting ready to create a new one.

To obtain help with handling all of your Georgia business planning needs, please contact Shane Smith Law today.  You can schedule your free initial consultation with a knowledgeable Peachtree City estate planning attorney by calling: (770) 487-8999.

Shane Smith
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