I’m on the road again this week.
And it got me to thinking that there are definitely some similarities between planning a trip and planning a business.
For example, the first thing I do before I set out on a road trip is determine my destination.
Where am I going?
Then I get a map so I know where I’m going. Usually I hop onto Mapquest to get directions from my home (where I am now) to my destination (where I want to go).
I got to thinking … that’s exactly what your marketing plan is for your business.
What do you think would happen if you decided to go on a road trip, but you didn’t know where you were going or how to get there? Well, you would probably get lost.
You would definitely end up somewhere, but it might not be where you want to be.
The same holds true for your business.
If you don’t first sit down and determine where you want your business to go … what you want it to look like say, one year from now, how can you expect to get there?
I would argue that you simply can’t get there. Because you don’t know where “there” is.
Think of your marketing plan as your road map.
It is the best way to ensure your business will end up being what you want it to be.
Unfortunately, many business owners don’t take time to develop a marketing plan.
Some don’t know any better, and others simply don’t know how, or just don’t want to take the time.
Often business owners just market as they go, in an almost reactive nature. If a competitor runs a promotion, they counter with a promotion.
If business gets slow, they run an ad to generate business. If they need to drum up some sales they pick up the phone or hit a few networking events.
But this is short-sighted marketing.
And while it might yield some quick results, it most certainly won’t support your business for the long term.
Not only that, but without a marketing plan, you’ll actually find yourself unknowingly making all kinds of little mistakes that can hurt your business and your chances for success.
I’ve uncovered the top 7 mistakes small business owners and solo-professionals make when it comes to marketing without a plan.
(1) They think short term
(2) They over-react to their environment and competitors
(3) They don’t identify their specific goals and objectives
(4) They try to be everything to everyone
(5) They don’t measure the results of their marketing correctly, or at all
(6) They often spend more and achieve fewer results
(7) They usually give up too quickly
The good news is that all of these mistakes are easily cured with a good marketing plan.
Not only will you prevent yourself from making these 7 mistakes when you take the time to sit down and create a marketing plan, but your business will also grow faster and easier.