Why Small Businesses Need A Marketing Plan
Marketing without a plan is like driving without a GPS: You can get lost and waste time and energy in the wrong places. Every new entrepreneur in the start-up years needs some direction: They may be in new territory where just doing the work to run the business is not enough. From bookkeeping to marketing, there are multiple tasks that require some level of expertise.
Without marketing direction, new entrepreneurs are vulnerable to making decisions that lead them to crash and burn: Wrong strategy choices or lack thereof eventually erodes the business reputation and the spirit of the business owner.
According to Forbes research study: eight out of ten entrepreneurs who start a business fail within the first 18 months. The top two reasons are 1. Leadership and 2. Cash flow. They are totally related: If a business leader does not make the right decisions the business runs out of gas – no cash flow!
There’s just no denying that marketing has a major impact on small business outcomes. A business cannot grow without someone experienced driving the marketing. I know this to be true from my own personal and professional experiences.
When I was the Marketing Director for Eau Claire Market during its opening years I saw small businesses come and go. When it opened in 1995 there were about 20 or more first-time business start-ups. People had leveraged their homes to open stores in what was touted to be Calgary’s Granville Island. Within two to three years at least half of the stores went out of business. There were a lot of hurdles and problems at the Market that made survival challenging. But there were survivors! Was it marketing that made the difference?
Yes it was marketing! It is my opinion that in order for a small business to be successful there needs to be a savvy marketing person at the wheel. If you don’t believe me, think about a small business operation that you perceive to be successful. You will either see a marketing savvy owner and/or a hired marketing agent working the marketing. Look inside a struggling business: You will see ineffective marketing and/or very little marketing happening.
Many small businesses in their first years have trouble finding the money for their marketing, let alone hiring someone to help them. They struggle daily to make ends meet, unable to pay for what they need most – a marketer! It’s an unfortunate reality that as time goes on, the business will grow weaker and weaker.
I created The K.I.S.S. Method for Marketing Plans workshop for those business owners who want a marketing plan but cannot technically write one and/or pay for a professional to write one. They can however afford to invest some time and money to learn how to “do it themselves with help”.
The K.I.S.S. Method brings people together with this common goal to learn how to effectively organize and implement their own marketing. By guiding students to write a marketing plan we are teaching the marketing process at the same time. We believe that by learning the process a business owner can gain more control of their business. With new knowledge, a plan in hand and a support team they will never have to be lost again. They will have that GPS to guide them through important decision-making.