A marketing plan outlines the basics for how you want to market your business. Your marketing plan helps you establish, direct and coordinate your marketing efforts. It’s your roadmap for success.  Your marketing plan allows you to understand your customer base, better determine exactly how products or services will benefit those clients, and create a plan to market to those clients. Below are tips to get you started creating a marketing plan that will help you grow your business effectively: 

1. Outline your marketing goals. Make sure to include any research or information that supports your marketing plan.  For example, keep a notebook that has all applicable keywords, research for new sites to connect with, and business contacts.   

2. Outline a specific time frame for completion of your goals. If you layout a timeline for your goals, you will be much more likely to reach them. 

3. Make a list of all of your marketing plans. Each time a new idea comes to you, add it to your list. 

4. Plan out your budget. Know how much you have available so that you can be sure to spend it wisely.   Be clear here on where you will spend your advertising dollars. Don’t just tell yourself, “I have $XXX for marketing.”  Instead, be specific. “I have $100 for paid press releases.” or “I have $40 for a Google Adwords campaign.” 

5. Think through how you will handle the clients/customers who respond to your marketing attempts. Too many make this mistake.  They market and ask questions later.  A client calls and wants additional information on their services and they are like ‘now what do I do.”  We want to have you so that when that potential client calls, it runs like clockwork! 

6. Make a list of any/all the marketing you’ve done in the past. Note next to each item on the list whether or not the marketing attempt was a success or failure and why.  Now with the marketing ideas that worked, make sure to give them priority. 

By taking each of these steps you will find yourself well on the path to an effective marketing plan.  

Author's Bio: 

Jill Hart, Founder of Christian Work-at-Home Moms http://www.cwahm.com/, (offering mentoring & advice for cwahms) and Diana Ennen, President of Virtual Word Publishing, http://www.virtualwordpublishing.com/ (offering PR and marketing assistance) co-wrote So You Want to Be a Work at Home Mom: A Christian’s Guide to Starting a Home-Based Business http://www.soyouwanttobeawahm.com/.  Article is free to be reprinted as long as bio remains.