Being successful as a business owner doesn’t always mean having a strong marketing plan in place from the beginning. Many people have a business idea and jump in with both feet, without knowing how they’re going to stay afloat.
Does this sound like you?
If you’re constantly wondering how you’re going to drum up new business to sustain you month-to-month, or year-to-year, it may be time to reevaluate the foundations of your marketing plan.
These three foundations are
- Goals – What you want to achieve
- Audience – Who you want to reach
- Story – Your brand and its message
Your clear and measurable goals allow you to direct your marketing in one specific direction and track your progress.
Understanding your audience and the problem you’re solving for them will help inform your story.
And your brand story is only effective if it appeals to your audience and moves your business toward your goals.
Each level is dependent on the one before it. This is why it’s so important to start at the beginning.
You may get by just fine for a while without thinking critically like this, but a long term business needs a long term plan.
Like a house that’s built to last, your marketing plan must start with a solid foundation.
Here are 15 questions to help strengthen the foundation of your small business marketing plan:
About Your Goals
- What is the long-term view of my business?
- Where do you want this business to be in 5 years?
- What are the yearly quantitative and qualitative goals that will help build your business to that point?
- How do this year’s goals break down into smaller quarterly goals? Monthly goals?
- What actionable steps do you need to take each week to reach your monthly goals?
About Your Audience
- Where does your audience spend their time?
- What do they value? How do they spend their time and/or money?
- What do they desire? What answers are they looking for when they visit you for the first time?
- What keeps them up at night? What specific pain are you helping them solve?
About Your Story
- Why should your audience care about what your product or service has to offer?
- What consistent theme does every piece of your content have?
- Do the design choices for your content support this message?
- What does your audience already know about your product or service?
- How will people remember you after they visit your site or meet you in person for the first time?
- If you’re creating a piece of content now, what direct business goals does it help you achieve?
The Theme Here is Focus.
By starting with the foundation of your marketing plan and working your way up, you’ll end up with a meaningful, focused, and measurable strategy for your business. The stronger these foundations are, the more focused the rest of your strategy will be in driving your intended results.
But, don’t stop here.
Start taking action!
Take the time to go through each of these questions and write your answers down. Be honest and detailed with your answers.
This simple exercise will help you form a better picture of where your business is today, and how you can propel it toward tomorrow’s goals.
And, if you’ve asked yourself any questions that you think I should add, leave them in the comments below. I’d love to hear what’s helped you and your business!