Often, new business owners are excited to get the word out about their product or service as soon as possible, so they can start generating the revenue needed to make their business run. Marketing before you’re ready, however, could get you in over your head. We encourage clients to take a moment and make sure all of the items on the following checklist are in place prior to implementing a marketing plan. Do this to make sure that your time and dollars are put towards the most rewarding efforts and you are prepared to handle all the customers and leads that come through as a result.

1. Identity

Have your business name, tagline and logo solidified. A good, clear visual representation of your company, along with a catchy tagline, will help people remember you.

2. Mission Statement

Put what you do into a concise phrase, so it just rolls off your tongue when you talk about your business and it’s easy for potential clients to understand.

3. Core Values

Know what you stand for and let clients know what they’re supporting when they do business with you.

4. Target Audience

Knowing who will be most interested in what you have to offer will allow your message to speak specifically to that group. Too broad of a reach could result in wasted efforts.

5. Unique Selling Proposition

It is important to know what makes you different from other business offering similar products or services. Consumers are faced with boundless choices. Give them a reason to choose you.

6. Pricing

Have pricing in place and in a format that is easy for customers to access and review. Pricing isn’t as easy to establish for services as it is for products, but it is just as important. People don’t love to call around to shop for custom quotes. Whatever pricing guideline you can provide upfront will help.

7. SWOT Analysis

Familiarize yourself with your own Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

8. Industry Trends

Research what marketing strategies successful businesses in your field are utilizing. What’s working for them could work for you as long as you differentiate yourself.

9. Website

A website is a must for businesses in nearly every industry. It’s a place for potential customers to learn more about you and a way for web users to stumble across you in a search. If you do it right, a website will serve as a marketing tool in itself. If you don’t have the budget for a site with all the bells and whistles, start with just a few informative pages, but make sure it looks professional and is built on a platform that will allow it to grow.

10. Analytics

Make sure you have a way to track your marketing efforts so you can review results and decide what to drop and what to focus on more.

This list consists of what we consider to be absolute musts, but there are additional things to consider that will help make your marketing efforts successful, like a sales pipeline, a year-long marketing plan and more.

If you are ready to start marketing or would like help establishing your business identity, we’d love to hear from you!