It’s tempting to try to run your business without a plan. It may seem like you can just get up each day and do what you want to do and the business will be successful. While that sometimes does happen, it’s not likely. The main reason most businesses fail is due to lack of a plan and lack of follow through. It doesn’t matter how large or small your business is; you really do need a plan.

If you really want to have a successful business, then you will need to go through the effort to create a marketing plan.

Marketing plans:

* Answer Questions Â? While doing the research for the plan, you’ll answer a lot of questions that will help you in your business. You’ll get to know your audience, understand the different marketing methods, and purposes and more.

* Assist with Decision Making Â? The facts you uncover with the research that you do will help you make good decisions about your business on a daily basis. Without the plan you won’t be able to make good choices easily.

* Help You Create Goals Â? The plan will automatically help you define the goals for your business and the marketing that you do for your business.

* Identify your Unique Selling Proposition Â? This is what makes you different than the competition. Discovering your USP will inform all future marketing efforts.

* Help Set Budgets Â? While creating the marketing plan you will also be able to determine a good budget for your marketing efforts.

* Define the Market Â? The research that you do will also help you define the market so that you can figure out where you fit in.

* Access the Competition Â? As you create the marketing plan, it will give you the opportunity to get to know your competition. When you do that, you can identify gaps in your products and/or services and fill them.

* Help You Stay the Course Â? The marketing plan that you make will keep you on the road toward success.

* Change with the Times – You can change it over time, but having the plan ensures your arrival to a planned destination.

If you think you can do all that without a marketing plan and get anywhere in your business within a reasonable amount of time while making a profit, you are likely to be wrong. If you want a direction, want to know what you’re doing and where you’re going, and how to get there, then make a marketing plan.

A successful long-term business needs a marketing plan, even if it’s just one page long. Writing out the steps you plan to take, and how you plan to take them when marketing your business will not always ensure success – but not doing so will likely result in failure.

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