Throughout the month of November we will be running our “SMB blog series.” While SMB traditionally refers to “Small/Medium Business,” here at Volusion it has come to mean something else: “Small Made Big.” This month we will be sharing resources, tips, stats, and inspirations to help you turn your small ecommerce endeavor into something greater- something BIG!
Developing a marketing plan is vital to the direction of your company. Without a properly formed marketing plan it’s easy to waste resources and get sidetracked with your goals. Small business counselors SCORE outline 7 important steps in developing a marketing plan:
- Develop Specific Goals and Timeframes
The very first step should be to nail down specific goals. Get as detailed as you can! When you developed your business plan you didn’t use generalizations like “I want to grow.” Think of your marketing plan in the same way in terms of specifics
Once you know what you want to get out of your marketing efforts- set challenging but not impossible time frames for completion. Without planning for when goals should be met, it’s easy to misallocate time and resources and under accomplish on your goals.
- Communicate Goals Internally
Having more collaborators on your marketing plans means a bigger pool of ideas to pull from and more help along the way. Make sure all of your employees know where you’re going and how you’re planning on getting there. In the beginning when you just have a few employees that’s easy, but the breakdown in communication can start when the company begins to grow.
- Use the Right Tools for the Job
The tools that you use will depend on what your marketing goals are, but choosing the right marketing channels or vehicles is essential for the success of your business.
- Create a Budget
You’re funds will probably never be unlimited, so make sure you know how much you are willing to budget to various activities, and how far you are willing to take an activity if it starts to cost more than what you had allotted.
- Delegate Responsibility
Don’t try to do everything yourself. If you have that typical “I’ll do it all” entrepreneur mindset you will actually hamper the growth of your business in the long-run.
- Monitor Results
Keep an eye on what you’re actually getting out of the various marketing activities you’re engaged in; and make decisions from there. It will be important to monitor metrics and also intangibles such as “brand sentiment” and “customer satisfaction.”
- Make Adjustments
Act on your findings! A lot of small business owners have a high self awareness, but do not complete the circle by actually acting on what they have observed. There’s no point in sinking your time into measuring your marketing activities if you are not going to use your findings to improve on your efforts.
-Kate Pierce eCommerce Specialist