How to Market Your Small Business

Introduction to Small Business Marketing

For the entrepreneur or small business owner, marketing is a matter of determining demand, matching a product or service with customer needs, and promoting those attributes in the marketplace to produce sales.

Marketing is not a one-time event, but an on-going process.

A specific marketing plan outlining concrete goals is indispensable to a well-managed business; without it, financial budgets and profit plans are incomplete. While even the best marketing plan cannot ensure success, conducting thorough research and establishing specific objectives greatly minimizes the possibility of failure. The marketing plan decreases misunderstanding and increases organized thinking, as well as serving as a measuring tool for annual progress.

Specific marketing problems are unique to each individual business, but common problems facing small businesses are a shortage of funds for adequate advertising and promotion and a lack of time for developing creative marketing strategies. The greatest difficulty, however, may be developing a creative and tightly focused overall marketing strategy. This publication serves as a general guideline for developing a profitable marketing plan on a limited budget. The ideas outlined are only suggestions; a truly effective marketing plan must be adapted to the particular needs of the individual business.

Components of the Marketing Plan

  1. CONDUCTING MARKET RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS
    1. Economic Trend Analysis
    2. Political and Social Analysis
    3. Product and Service Analysis
    4. Customer Analysis
    5. Market Potential Analysis
    6. Competitive Analysis
  2. DEVELOPING GOALS AND TACTICS
    1. Statement of Overall Strategy
    2. Packaging
    3. Pricing
    4. Distribution
    5. Advertising and Promotion
    6. Publicity
  3. PREPARING THE MARKETING BUDGET
    1. Initial Preparation
    2. Annual Revision
  4. SAMPLE MARKET PLAN
  5. SAMPLE MARKETING BUDGET OUTLINE
  6. GLOSSARY
  7. SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY AND RECOMMENDED BOOKS FOR MARKETING RESEARCH

Public information re-printed from the Mississippi State University Extension Department.

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