Marketing Ideas and Tips for Home Business Owners 



Home Business Marketing

One 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 following.

�    Industry in which your business will be classified
�    Market niche you will target by customer definition
�    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 success. 

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 destinies. 


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