of the most important sections of your business plan is the marketing
section. Let�s face it�without customers there will no
business no matter how organized you may be. You should spend
a lot of time developing your home based business marketing strategies,
because you will probably be working with a limited amount of capital.
Many home based businesses start on a shoestring, but that does not
preclude the use of a business plan.
Competition is always going to be a concern of any business.
You have to offer what your targeted market wants, but you also have to
convince them to choose your product or service over the
competition. You need to differentiate your business even if
you are the only one working your business.
To manage your business as efficiently and productively as possible you
must follow your business marketing plan. If you are like
many home based businesses, you do not have a lot of money to put into
marketing. You have to carefully use what resources you have
and take advantage of the free internet marketing tools discussed
earlier. The goal is to attract new customer leads by showing
people you have what they need and can deliver it at a fair price.
One of the pitfalls home based business owners fall into is lack of
planning. Too many entrepreneurs get off course and spend
time and effort marketing to the wrong market. Eventually,
the business will fail because the people most likely to buy the
products or services don�t even know you exist. That is why
it is so important to have a good marketing plan that defines the
� Industry in which your business will be
� Market niche you will target by
� Territory you will cover (local,
regional, national, global)
� Competition in the industry and areas
you are targeting
If you understand your competition and your customer profile, you can
spend your marketing dollars wisely. But even more
importantly you can create a marketing campaign that specifically
reaches the market where you will find the people who want and need
what you are selling.
Your marketing plan will also make it much easier for you to price your
products, because if you do your research, you know what your
competitors are charging. It will also define the specific
promotional and distribution strategies.
The key to being a better marketer in your home business is to
specifically target the market of interest. For example, if
you are selling women�s beauty products, you will not want to run a
booth at the local auto show at the convention center where mostly car
products are being sold. Paying the booth rental fee is a
waste of money.
Only the biggest corporations can afford to pay for general marketing
tools such as billboards or television advertisements. When
you are a home based entrepreneur, chances are you are operating with
very limited funds. Fortunately, you can still run an
effective marketing campaign and you can still target the best
customers you can find.
Target marketing is focused marketing that specifically seeks out the
consumers who are likely to want to purchase your products or
services. As described under the section concerning using
technology and the internet, there are a number of ways to create an
effective marketing plan using a variety of tools. You can
balance the internet marketing with offline marketing activities that
seek the local customers you can best serve.
Target marketing plans help you avoid wasting your time and
money. These are two critical resources that are in limited
supply in most home bases businesses. When you have a well
developed business plan that includes a definitive marketing plan and
strategy, you have a roadmap that provides you the best chance of
Marketing is really the lifeblood of a business. Marketing includes
market and customer definition, product description and pricing, and
distribution. The marketing strategies you use are combined
with your selling techniques to build a good customer base that is
renewable. In other words, your marketing and sales program
should attract new customers and create customer retention.
The more people that return to purchase your products, the more
productive you can be.
You can think of it in this way. A customer who returns to
buy again and again is already familiar with your product or service
and is obviously happy with the customer service. You can
continue to provide him or her that wonderful attention they appreciate
while using scarce marketing dollars to find new customers.
There is many a home based business that failed, because the owner
focused only current customers once a revenue goal was reached and did
not develop new customer business. When the old customers
stop buying for whatever reason, the business loses revenue it is not
positioned to replace.
It is easy to understand by now the business plan is a sales,
marketing, time management, and financial plan rolled into one
document. The goals, objectives, strategies, tactics and
actions identified in the plan give you the direction you need as you
build a business.
Being an entrepreneur is exciting, but it also takes dedicated
effort. The home based business industry is growing rapidly
as people seek ways to take control of their financial and work
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