Thursday, January 20

Small business marketing plans: You might not want one... 

Guest column by Jimmy Vee and Travis Miller

If you are a small business owner or independent sales
professional and you are working on, thinking about or
reading about creating a marketing plan - STOP!!

So many so called "marketing experts" say you need a
marketing plan and puke out all this
"direct-from-the-textbook-junk" about how to create one
and what it contains. 

Traditional marketing text books and philosophies weren't
written for small businesses. They were written for big
corporations, so the irrelevant stuff between their covers
doesn't mean anything to you but wasted time, energy and

Most marketing experts only know what's in those college
text books - and I got to tell you for a small business
that's poison. I've read all the text books I have the
advertising degree hanging on the wall. I've got the
master's degree too. And you wanna know what? All that
standard education information is garbage.

See, academics aren't interested in the same things as
entrepreneurs. They don't think the same as us and they
definitely don't know anything about small business. They
know theory and principles that work for the masses. That's
why this is standard education stuff. But standard education
principles yield standard results and often times less when
applied to small businesses. 

I don't know about you but I'm not looking for standard
success. Standard success is $30,000 a year and a broken
home for your kids. I think we are all aiming a bit higher,
that's why you're reading this right now and seeking
something more.

In that standard marketing education they talk about the
"Four P's of Marketing" (some say five P's now). The
Five P's are product, price, placement, package, promotion.

For a small business the Five P's are procrastination,
procrastination, procrastination, procrastination,

You need rapid but smart growth - and that's not covered in
a marketing plan or in the "Five P's."

What you need to create is a "Rapid And Smart Growth Plan
Of Attack." 

This is a living and breathing one page document that
evolves as you take action and test results. 

And it's not just a plan. A plan gets filed away in your
drawer because it's too long and too complicated to do
anything else with. 

What I'm talking about is a plan of attack. If you want to
find success you need to ATTACK IT!

I like to use a large easel and a big post it flip chart
pad. I write in red marker so it's ultra obvious and always
carries a sense of urgency.

In this plan of attack you want to make a list of no more
than two or three narrowly defined targets to go after. You
need to solidify your Gravitational Proposition - a unique
offering statement that is irresistible to your target and
pulls them to you with a natural, powerful force.

Your Gravitational Proposition should answer these
1. What is it you are trying to sell?
2. What HUGE benefit does your customer get from the purchase?
3. How much does it cost?
4. Why proof do you offer/why should I believe you?

Your proposition doesn't have to contain all of these
things but a combination of the ones that puts your offering
in the best light possible.

The next thing on your action plan should be the steps you
will take to attack your prospects and the individual
actions you will take to accomplish those steps.

Cross each one off the list as you finish it and add new
ideas as you come up with them. Only add ideas when you can
add actionable steps to take to implement those ideas.

Create time deadlines for each set of steps to incentivize
yourself to get them done. Even create rewards for
accomplishing the projects. You must block out at least one
day per week where you do nothing but plan and act -
otherwise you are doomed to have slow growth and mediocre

You must change your mindset. You must realize your main job
is marketer not doer or seller or manager. Marketing is the
most important job you can master if you desire success in
large scale.

So forget the marketing plan, the four or five P's and
start creating rapid and smart growth by taking aggressive
action. Remember that you must test and measure all of your
efforts for effectiveness and act accordingly.

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