A lot of people are at a loss when it comes to deciding how to approach the marketing plan process and how to stay within time and budget constraints. To make for a less stressful marketing plan process , keep these 7 tips in mind:
Think Strategy First An overall marketing strategy drives many decisions. If you first identify general goals, choosing appropriate marketing programs for a small business plan becomes much easier.
Decide Format Putting together a general outline and deciding how you will publish the plan can help you better visualize steps you need to take. Examples are (a) a full, detailed report including Executive Summary, the plan itself, and back-up data , (b) a single summary sheet, or (c) something in between. Size and structure of the small business can help determine the scope of the plan.
Set Aside Time A good, strategic marketing plan requires a certain amount of analysis. Early stages in the process go smoother with minimal interruptions. Make it easier for those working on the plan to concentrate by setting aside "closed" time during early planning stages. In a busy, small business environment, this can be accomplished by working during off hours or putting aside a short time - 30 minutes to an hour - each day.
Brainstorm New , creative ideas flow more freely when people are not inhibited by preconceptions. Hold a brainstorming session, with two rules: (a) there are no bad ideas and (b) everyone's ideas carry equal weight.
Shorten The List Implementation suffers severely when there is an overload of marketing projects, especially in small businesses with a small or one-person marketing department.. The list of potential projects generated in the brainstorming session can be shortened by concentrating on those likely to be the most profitable and those that take advantage of the company's internal strengths.
Make The Plan Flexible Business does not operate in a vacuum, so your plan needn't exist in one. For example, the business environment may change during the year or additional marketing opportunities may arise. Building in flexibility to adjust throughout the year can avoid the pitfall of continuing down an unproductive path.
Have Measurements In Place Knowing if and how well a program works can help you identify opportunities for improvement. In your marketing plan or in back-up documents , set explicit goals and measurements.
About the Author
Bobette Kyle draws upon 12+ years of MarketingExecutive experience, Marketing MBA, and online marketing research in her writing. Bobette is proprietor of the Web Site Marketing Plan Network, , and author of the marketing plan and Web promotion book "How Much For Just the Spider? Strategic Website Marketing For Small Budget Business." ( )
Copyright 2004 , Bobette Kyle. All rights reserved.
First-Time Home Buyer Programs Help Make Dreams Come True! Business Articles | November 4, 2015
The entrance of companies like Tesla and Switch into Nevada means great things for the local economy. What they also mean are raising housing prices, as more and more people move into the Silver State...
The entrance of companies like Tesla and Switch into Nevada means great things for the local economy. What they also mean are raising housing prices, as more and more people move into the Silver State, creating a housing shortage. This is good news for existing homeowners , but concerning for first-time homebuyers.
According to the Reno Gazette-Journal, “In January 2012, the median price for a home in northern Nevada was around $135,000. More than two and a half years later, home values have jumped by about 85 percent.”
What does this mean to the first-time homebuyer? It’s time to buy , while interest rates are still low and before prices go up any higher. But you’re also probably going to need some help.
Nevada is full of first-time homebuyer programs, all designed to educate homebuyers on their responsibilities, and then to help them into homes they can afford.
The U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) lists several options on its website, . These include first-time homebuyer programs and loans with little to no down payment requirements, programs specific to veterans and programs that give homeowners money back every year in the form of tax credits.
Habitat for Humanity was founded by former President Jimmy Carter and has a mission to provide homes for low-income families. Applicants must meet specific income requirements and be willing to complete 500 hours of “sweat” equity toward building their home or another home in the program. In exchange , the first-time homebuyer can purchase a home with no down payment and a monthly mortgage that is typically about half of normal rents for the area. The USDA Rural Housing program provides low interest mortgages, typically with little or no down payment requirements, in rural areas of the state. In Nevada, this is defined as any city with fewer than 30,000 residents. The Nevada Rural Housing Authority (NRHA) has two programs that can help homebuyers in rural Nevada (every city except for Reno and Las Vegas). Their Home At Last TM down payment assistance program (which is not limited to first-time homebuyers) includes both government (FHA , VA and USDA Rural Development) and conventional (HFA Preferred) loan alternatives, coupled with granted down payment assistance of up to 5 percent, depending on the loan type. NRHA also offers the Mortgage Tax Credit (MTC) program that gives the first-time homebuyer a federal tax credit equal to 40 percent of the interest paid on the mortgage loan – this could equal up to $2,000 a year in free money!
The Nevada Housing Division offers programs similar to the NRHA .