If not, you are not alone. Most clients who hire me as their coach are often without a marketing plan. And this is the most common mistake entrepreneurs make with their marketing.
If you look at every successful business, they have one thing in common: A marketing plan.
And it’s time you wrote yours.
The importance of a marketing plan
Why is it important to have a marketing plan?
An analogy I love to use is to imagine you are embarking on a road trip to a city you’ve never been to. Would you just jump in the car and start driving? Of course not. Most likely, you would program your GPS, or plan your route on your phone, or consult a road atlas. You would have a plan to help you reach your destination.
That’s exactly what a marketing plan is – your roadmap for your marketing journey. Just as you wouldn’t get in your car and start driving, you shouldn’t start marketing without a plan. Your marketing plan will help you reach your destination – whether it’s more clients, higher profit or less wasted resources.
But just don’t take my word for it.
Check out what the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) says about marketing plans:
At the end of the day, the time spent developing your marketing plan, is time well spent because it defines how you connect with your customers. And that’s an investment worth making. – from Developing a Marketing Plan
Even Dave Ramsey, a popular financial author, stresses the importance of marketing plans:
People are in such a hurry to launch their product or business that they seldom look at marketing from a bird’s eye view – and they don’t create a systematic plan. – Dave Ramsey
Write your marketing plan today
Here’s your assignment: Find at least one hour over the next seven days to start writing your marketing plan. Your marketing plan doesn’t have to start at the beginning of the month, or the beginning of the year – or even the beginning of the week.
It just needs to start.
Marketing plans do not have to follow a certain format, either. In fact, your marketing plan is your document. It can be a spreadsheet or a Word document or even sketched out on a legal pad. Another thing: Your marketing plan will change. It’s supposed to. So, expect it to be fluid and be flexible.
One final piece of advice: Don’t get into “analysis paralysis” mode.
The most important task right now is to start writing your marketing plan. Think about what you want to achieve over the next month, three months, six months or year, and then start writing how you’ll do it. In the simplest of terms, that’s all a marketing plan is.