Create a Marketing Plan
Marketing Plan Worksheets
Sample - PDF
Blank Worksheet - PDF
A marketing plan identifies your goals and provides a road map to achieve them. A written plan will help you focus your efforts, determine your marketing mix and keep your budget on track throughout the year.
- Analyze your current situation. Identify obstacles and opportunities from which to formulate objectives and strategies. Write down exactly what products and services you currently offer and the percentage of sales each one generates. Size up your competitors. Determine who your customers are and what their needs are. Address any problems, such as stagnant sales periods, inferior products and services or complaints you may have received.
- Set achievable goals. Goals should be specific and attainable. Maximize your business for each holiday. Energize your business with special promotions or offers to keep sales steady during slow periods. Capitalize on current customers. Consider increasing the products and services you offer. Look for new opportunities in marketing sources you have not yet tapped.
- Determine your budget. Generally, a marketing budget is 2% to 5% of estimated annual gross sales. Research your costs, being sure to factor in the cost of production. Stick to your budget and track your results. This will allow you to make adjustments as needed and refine your marketing plan for next year.
- Find the right marketing mix. Put your objectives in front of you, and write down as many ways of achieving each one as possible. Once you have a list of strategies for each objective, you can start to prioritize. Write down each realistic strategy, a description of how and when it will be accomplished, who will undertake the project and how much it will cost.
- Pull it all together. Look again at your objectives and put them in the order that you feel will generate the most business. Tally your estimations and assign a rough percentage and dollar amount of your marketing budget to each objective.
- Evaluating your success. Plan to monitor the results of your marketing strategies, based on how well they work together.