Women generally can be forward planning in their homes! This is a very good trait to use in business and I wish all African women could do the same for their businesses. As women, we plan for our wedding years before we even meet Mr Right. Any woman planning to get married will have an idea of the venue, the colours, desired flower arrangement, program and bride maids. The reason one can plan in such detail of something that might never happen in their life is because their mind can vividly see the possible great outcome, and just the thought of it happening brings a shiver of excitement. It is actually an unexplainable but nice feeling so I will not continue trying to explain it. What I know is that feeling drives them to think and write it down.
What does planning a wedding have to do with your marketing plan? It is simple, the same detail you would think for your wedding, is the same thinking process and approach that you should do as an entrepreneur for your business. It should be fun, exciting and creative. No matter how small or big your business is, even if it is still more of an income generating hobby, write down a marketing plan to grow it.
To move to the next level of success next year, I am asking every woman entrepreneur to create a marketing plan. It should be different from the one that failed before if you created one before. You should be convinced that your marketing plan is really promising to work well for your business. I want the best for every African woman in business-my desire is to see your sales increasing and overall customer loyalty improving year on year. To help you start on it, go through the following tips and plan to have a tangible plan in seven days!
Do you believe that it is easy to create a plan on how to market your product? You probably have an idea, so relax and plan to have a plan and to implement the plan accordingly. Set aside thinking time and carry a note pad to jot ideas as you go about your daily routines as you start preparing yourself.
2. Research – Just like you would do for a wedding venue as you plan a wedding.
Don’t be intimidated about research. Ordinarily you do not just take things coming your way, but you do ask and compare- that is research. So the research you do for your marketing plan is just to know yourself, your business, your customer and the market. What are you good at, what is your product solving, who is your customer and what does that customer like, why should they buy from you. Research on who else offers similar products or services as you, and what are you better at compared to them!
3. Develop your marketing strategy
Be clear about your marketing objectives as you create your strategy. Ask yourself what you want to achieve, and by when, and how are you going to achieve it. Be simple as you do this, remembering that it should be fun and exciting for you. So for example, you make rich cakes for special occasions, your marketing objective could be to grow your customer base, which should result in more cash flows on a monthly basis. How are you going to do this: maybe you could use referrals supplied by all your happy customers, or host a tea party where you offer cake tasting to all guests, or you could start advertising in an events magazine if you have adequate funding. It is important that you have a full implementation plan with deadlines to help you.
4. Develop a marketing budget. These days more and more affordable methods of advertising are available. Just make sure what you select will reach your target market otherwise you will get unnecessary phone calls that give you hope but no cash. So to do a budget, ask yourself how much of your product price are you going to dedicate to marketing out of your entire operating budget.
Things to avoid!!
- Do not pursue same advertising activities that did not bring you value before.
- Do not wait till next period if plan is not working. Change/modify your marketing plan as you go.
- Do not pretend you know it all. If you do not know how to plan your own wedding, guess what, they are wedding planners! So in the same way, if you do not know how to create an exciting, creative and easy to follow marketing plan, Go for it! Get an experienced person to help you in your business. Always check where their success and expertise is based on. Normally with the right person- you just click. Pay them well for it so that you are so motivated to follow it through.
On that note, if you are ready to work, ready to make changes, ready to learn new things, register for the following coaching clinic Accelerating your income and success in the coming year. Attending this will help you:
Do not be limited by doubt, fear or anything. Focus on becoming successful.
P/s: Remember; plan to be the best African Women Entrepreneur in the next year using your marketing plan! You can do it!