Have you decided to become an entrepreneur? Congratulations!
Marketing will be one of the most important factors in the success of your new business. So before you put your name on the door, consider this:
Every business, no matter how small, needs a marketing plan that outlines objectives, positioning, messaging, targeted audiences, channels, tactics, promotions, and implementation.
Whether you develop that plan yourself or hire a marketing consultant or agency, there are 10 key questions every new business owner must answer for a smart marketing strategy from my experience helping entrepreneurs launch businesses:
- What is the rationale for your business? Why are you starting a business? What do you want to achieve? Your marketing team will need to understand your vision and passion in order to promote your new enterprise.
- How will you make money? What factors will impact the profitability of your business? Your marketing goals and budget should reflect your business plan.
- How will you sell your products and services? What is the sales process and what are your primary sales channels? Your marketing plan should include tools and tactics to support each step of the process in each channel.
- Who is the customer? Your marketing team will need to understand the characteristics and demographics of an ideal customer to create and deliver the right marketing messages to the right audiences.
- What do your customers need? What are prospects looking for when considering a company like yours? Knowing what motivates buyers and the factors that influence their selection of a vendor is essential to creating engaging campaigns.
- Who are your competitors and how do they market? Your marketing advisors will want to study the marketing approaches and positioning of your competitors to differentiate your business in a competitive marketplace.
- Why should someone buy from you? As a new venture, you may be up against entrenched suppliers who dominate the market. What makes your products and services superior to theirs? You need a short, simple answer to the question of why someone should choose to do business with you.
- What should your brand represent? Your brand is a promise to customers of what your business stands for, what you deliver, and what they will experience as your customer. You must be able to define the brand promise from the customer’s point of view.
- What have you done so far with marketing? Do you have a name? A brand identity? A URL, website, social media accounts? You’ll need all these marketing fundamentals in order to begin. A marketing consultant or agency can help you create a high-impact name, brand, and web presence.
- What resources do you have for marketing? What’s your marketing budget? Who will manage the marketing function? New business owners often need to focus on delivering products and services instead of developing and implementing a marketing plan. Don’t let your personal bandwidth for marketing management become an obstacle. Get external help or hire in-house marketing expertise to build a marketing foundation that enables your new business to grow and succeed.