The single most critical element of your marketing plan is defining your purpose. What exactly is your product or service? Can you explain it to someone traveling with you in the elevator in 30 seconds?  Also, remember the planning stage. What is the goal of your marketing? To get 10 new clients. . .or 50, 100, 1000? If you’re selling a product, are you looking to gain new distributors, new wholesale accounts, or sell direct to the public? If you don’t know what your real goals are, how can you create the right strategy? How can you know if you’ve been effective?

Now that you’ve defined your purpose, next you must define your target market. You’ve probably heard this term before, but do you really understand what it means? Your target market is your ideal customer or client. Who is it exactly that you want to reach? Why waste your time marketing to the wrong audience? If your product was a contraceptive, would you market it to senior citizens who can’t get pregnant? If your service was extremely expensive, wouldn’t you want your audience to be people who could afford it?

Marketing isn’t something you can afford to give up when you are experiencing lean times. You may have to employ strategies that are less capital-intensive (and save certain other strategies for when you have more of a budget), but there are always things you can do. Many people make the mistake of cutting back on marketing at the very time when they most need it. If business is down, you need to do more than just pray that it will pick back up. In other words, you can’t afford not to market your business. If you are new in business, you must include marketing in your budget from the very beginning. You should be able to allocate more as you get going–in other words, reinvest in yourself as time goes on, putting part of your profits into helping to expand your business over time.

But even in the beginning, you need some capital. It’s common to make the mistake of starting something when you are not really ready.

For you to take the next step in marketing, I suggest that you first enroll in a marketing seminars. The courses will reward you in many ways. You will tremendously benefit from the group discussions and the opportunity to absorb case studies of marketing successes and failures. Second,  practice your learnt marketing strategies on small scale projects first and then move to larger assignments when you gain more confidence. If you follow this course, you will be able to refine your efforts and help ensure your business’ success.