Micro Oiseau | free marketing and translation guides for micro entrepreneurs and startups

#3 Be Seen: how to develop your marketing plan

If you have something to sell, you need to be easy to see, find and engage with.

Once we have defined our brand and set our price, we need to make sure our business is visible, attractive and approachable. We need a plan!

A business without marketing is a hobby and hobbies don’t pay the rent. So what now?

Good marketing is a very important element of building a successful business and here’s how to make a great start…

Look at the marketing of different businesses you use both large and small. What do you like? What do you dislike?  Can you work out why?

Now look at your direct competitors. People with the same kind of business as you, in your area. Again, what do you like and dislike about their marketing? Do you know why?

Whatever your competitors are doing, your job is to do it better.

Today, the successful marketing of any product or service requires a mixture of things. For a micro business that mix may include:

Printed marketing
  • Business card
  • Brochure
  • Leaflet
  • Newspaper advert
  • Magazine article
  • Press release
Online (or digital) marketing
  • Personal website
  • Social media, for example: You Tube, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook
  • Blog
  • ‘Marketplace’ website, for example: eBay, Etsy, Amazon
  • Professional platform website, for example: LinkedIn or a membership or accredited organisation
Human to human
  • Word of mouth
  • Personal connections
  • Professional networking

The different elements that make up your ‘marketing mix’ should be chosen by understanding your customers’ buying habits, so do your research. When you have identified how your customers hear about the kind of product you offer and how and where they shop for it, it’s time to set some goals, create a plan and decide on your marketing ‘mix’.

Micro Oiseau - How to Be Seen: marketing help for micro entrepreneurs

Set Your Goals

Short-term, mid-term and long-term. Your goals will change as you develop your business, but without goals you cannot keep focused on what you want to achieve or measure your success.

For example, your goals may be:

Short: Secure a business loan from my bank or start a blog.

Mid:    Secure ten clients by the end of six months or buy special equipment.

Long: Employ five staff and open four outlets by the end of three years.

Or, more simply, “To pay my bills and give me the lifestyle and freedom I want.”

Everyone’s goals and timescales will be different, but they are all important. Now to make a plan…

“A goal without a plan is just a wish…”  Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Create a plan to reach your goals

Think of your plan as a series of stepping stones to reach your goal.

If you are crossing a deep river, without stepping stones it will be difficult, if not impossible, to make progress. For example:

Plan to reach your short-term goal to secure a business loan:

    1. Get advice from local business support service
    2. Write draft business plan
    3. Make appointment with bank

Mid-term goal to secure ten clients by end of six months:

    1. Research local advertising and competitors
    2. Research website resources and support
    3. Begin creating content and images for advert and website

You get the picture? Each goal has a plan attached with different stages within it. Reaching your short, mid and long-term goals will also go on simultaneously and many may overlap.