1. Know who you want as an "ideal client" - You not only know what you have to offer but also the type of person who would be best suited and able to afford it. What characteristics would they have and why would you like to work with them?
2. Know the competition - Do not be blind about the market place. There are other people who are offering products or services to your target group. You will need to know what you have to offer that would make people want to work with you. The difference can be used to attract clients.
3. Know your business goals - When you write down the things that you want to achieve there is a wonderful thing that happens. You accomplish them! Put a great deal of thought into what you want and then describe the goals in very clear written language.
4. Know how you will reach your goals - Outline a strategy that will identify the products and services that you will offer. State the pricing, packaging and methods that you will use to promote and attract buyers. The more detail that you use here, the more possibility you will have of succeeding.
5. Know your budget - There is usually a cost of doing business and you will need to set out a fixed sum that will be used primarily for promotion and marketing. It is usually best to set the budget for a short period of time (one to three months) and then evaluate to determine how your plan might need to be adjusted before moving into the next period of time.
A marketing plan is usually just part of a larger Business Plan that includes other topics such as staffing, business operational expenses and fixed office equipment. The two, however, work together in an integrated manner so that if the marketing plan succeeds, the Business Plan will also likely be viewed as successful act.
Sometimes an established business puts less emphasis on having a marketing plan as word of mouth can be a powerful factor for bringing in new clients. At the same time, however, when there are changes of any kind in the products or services that will be part of the business future, knowing how to prepare a Marketing Plan will be an invaluable part of the process that turns business into a business success.